Diablo 3 - Patch 14 Looking Good and Undocumented Changes

Diablo III PvP Update - PvP Arena System Postponed
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As we’re counting down the days until we’re ready to announce a release date for Diablo III, we’ve come to realize that the PvP game and systems aren’t yet living up to our standards. Today, we wanted to let you know that we’ve made the difficult decision to hold back the PvP Arena system and release it in a patch following the game’s launch. After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PvP would just be punishing to everyone who’s waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete.

While we work on making sure PvP lives up to its full potential, we hope you’ll find some consolation in the fact that soon, you’ll be having a blast leveling characters, finding items, learning the classes, and perfecting builds…and that when the Arenas do arrive, you’ll be all the better prepared for battle.

When the PvP patch is ultimately ready, it will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily. We’ll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team’s skulls.

We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we’ll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be. In the meantime, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch.

We’ll have a lot more info to share on the PvP system in the future, and we look forward to the moment we can get the game into your hands.

Mists of Pandaria Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Spell Resistance Removal
There were two primary problems with spell resistance.

First, the mechanic was implemented in a really confusing way. We could describe it all here, but it would take paragraphs, so instead we invite you to look it up on one of the fansites. The way a point of resistance leads to decreased damage is not an easy system for even experienced players to understand. We certainly could have redesigned the system, but to what end? Gearing for resistance sacrificed so many other stats that it was really only beneficial on those fights that the designers decided ahead of time would be "resistance fights," which generally meant getting a whole set of Nature (or Fire or Shadow, etc.) resistance gear. It felt more like an annoying speed bump to being able to progress to the next boss, rather than a fun challenge.

Secondly, the various resistance auras were passive things you'd just throw up, and pretty easy for any group larger than 5 to have. In designer parlance, we balanced around the assumption of their presence, rather than them feeling like awesome bonuses when you got to use, say, Fire Resist Aura. There isn't a ton of interesting gameplay there.

As we said in the blog, in some alternate universe, we could imagine a World of Warcraft itemization design where resistances are nearly as meaningful as stats like haste or crit. In that game there would be a lot of mobs that cast spells or use magical attacks, and stacking resistance might be an interesting trade off to stacking Stamina and armor. In the abstract, resistances could be cool. They aren't currently very cool in the actual World of Warcraft. We could spend a lot of design attention to make them cool -- and maybe someday we'll take that challenge on again -- but for Mists, we'd rather spend more attention on making sure the talent tree and spec revamps are as cool as they can possibly be. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Conquest and Valor Points Cap
There is often a razor’s edge between optional and mandatory. While earning a little more Conquest or Valor might feel like an option for a player who has some free time at the end of a week, it feels mandatory for a Gladiator-type PvPer or realm-first raider who wants to stay competitive with other players at that level. And of course, whenever we bring about the possibility of earning gear faster, we have to assume that players will take advantage of it. To use an extreme case, if you could complete all of your Conquest or Valor gear in one week (even if it took you nearly all of your waking time to do so), then PvP and PvE would have to be balanced with that level of gear in mind, in addition to the fact that players who quickly consumed the content by finishing their gear progression so quickly would then be looking around for something else to do.

We do try to balance time investment with skill in the game. If there was no reward just for playing (time investment), then only the most skilled players would win Arenas or BGs or kill raid bosses and there would be no catch-up mechanism for the rest of us. This would demoralize and discourage players from participating, and the highly-skilled players would have no one to oppose in the BG or join in raiding.

Of course, if we overly reward time investment, then the value of skill gets diminished, which is very unsatisfying. The design we typically follow is to give the most skilled players the opportunity to accomplish things first, but let other players get there by eventually acquiring the gear and familiarity to accomplish the same (boss kill / acquisition of desirable piece of armor / achievement).

But we don’t like it when players run out of things to do. That's something that is always on our list of things to do to improve WoW. We’re not sure that removing caps is the right solution. We have discussed ideas like having diminish returns on Valor and Conquest, such that you always could earn more, but at some point the effort per reward becomes less and less desirable. Maybe under that model very dedicated players could continue to earn additional points, without creating a new standard for everyone. It’s tricky though, because we have to go with an option that doesn't quickly slide into something that feels mandatory. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Stat Changes Philosophy
I'd like to jump back in here to address a common concern we've been reading, which is that we're trying to oversimplify the stat system in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience.

One of our design philosophies is: simple to learn, difficult to master.

We don’t believe in obfuscating information just to create a barrier between players who understand the rules and those who don’t. We do like to have lots of depth to our systems however, and we’re totally fine with veteran or knowledgeable players knowing a lot of nuance, exceptions, and tricks to the basic rules. To use an older example, armor penetration wasn’t our most shining moment in item design. At the base level, it was pretty easy to understand (physical attacks do more damage). However, the way a point of armor penetration rating translated into damage was mathematically complex. And to make matters worse, it was such a good stat that it made sense to stack it even if you didn't understand the mathematical basis for why it was a good stat. Armor penetration was difficult to learn (what does it do?) but easy to master (it’s overpowered). You can make similar examples with "capping" block for paladin and warrior tanks.

On the other hand, haste and crit aren’t that hard to understand. Haste is "you can do more." Crit is "you do stuff bigger, but not 100% of the time." The depth comes from deciding if your play style is more about doing lots of stuff, or about occasionally getting bigger heals and hits. If you’re intolerant of randomness, then crit might be unappealing. If you run out of mana a lot as a healer, then spending mana faster through haste might be unappealing. Both stats can impact rotations as well, depending on individual spec mechanics. These are the types of stats we feel add a decent amount of depth to the system in terms of how you want to build your character, yet they're quite easy to understand on a fundamental level. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Mists of Pandaria Priest Development Status
Prayer of Healing can be used by Holy and Discipline once again. We realized that the goal of making Holy Nova an effective AE healing tool was problematic. It meant that we would have to change Holy Nova so thoroughly, that it was becoming a second Prayer of Healing. Remember: we aren’t even in beta yet, and we want to retain as much opportunity as possible to respond to player feedback throughout the rest of this process. Things will change for priests, and every other class, over the coming weeks.

There is some speculation that Discipline is intended only as a PvP spec or only as a tank-healing spec. Neither of those is our design intent. Both Holy and Discipline should be effective at group healing or single-target healing, and if we do our jobs right, both can have a role in PvP. The main difference between them is that Discipline relies more on absorption mechanics, such as Power Word: Shield, Power Word: Barrier, Divine Aegis and the new Spirit Shell. Holy priests should place more emphasis on heals over time and have more area healing mechanics (e.g. Circle of Healing, Holy Word: Sanctuary), but those are intended to offset the incredible benefit of absorbs and not to make Holy the only option for handling AE damage. We see both in use a lot in PvE in Cataclysm, and we intend for that model to continue.

So does that leave Holy Nova on the cutting-room floor, or is it just going to remain like it is now, useable by both specs, but never really used?
At this time, we don't have an update on Holy Nova for Mists of Pandaria.

Will Prayer of Healing still be restricted to affecting one group per cast or will it be a "smart" heal that prioritizes on health of those around you similar to Wild Growth?
It looks like Prayer of Healing is going to continue to work as it does today.

Give binding heal back to disc as well...
There is certainly a chance. At the moment, Discipline doesn't have Binding Heal because we want the specs to play differently (not just vary by Circle of Healing vs. Penance and similar spec spells).

This, friends, is why we need to be vocal about things as early as we possibly can.
I respectfully disagree. As I said above, there is a difference between feedback that comes from pure imagination ("I've not played this yet, but I can guess how it might feel") and feedback that comes from hours and hours of actual gameplay. The latter is much more preferable and helpful, and can only be gotten during beta testing.

We recognize that change is always scary. It’s probably impossible for us to make a change that is universally acclaimed by all players (or even just one group of players, such as priests). We try to make the best decisions for the class, and that includes seeking feedback from interested players, but these things are perpetually a work in progress, and not everyone can be pleased. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP and Gear
I feel like I should take some time to better relay the development team's intentions when it comes to how PvP stats will work in Mists.

There are two important changes to PvP itemization coming:

1. We're splitting Resilience into an offensive and defensive component.
2. All players will have at least 30% damage reduction versus other players.

If you want to do more damage to other players in Mists, you have two options. You can get better PvE gear with more offensive stats, or you can get better PvP gear with slightly smaller offensive stats built in(because PvP gear is lower item level), but which will also give you more damage against players specifically. In today's game, stacking PvE gear is really the only way to do more damage to other players in PvP since Resilience only supplies a defensive bonus. These are completely made up numbers, but imagine PvE gear is 100% effective in PvE and 75% effective in PvP. PvP gear is 50% effective in PvE, but 100% effective in PvP -- despite its lower item level, it wins out over PvE gear when used for its intended purpose.

Here are some examples:

Ders the rogue: wears PvE gear.
Jillian the hunter: wears PvP gear.
In Cataclysm PvE, Ders does much better damage than Jillian in PvE, because her PvP gear “wastes” stat budget on Resilience.
In Cataclysm PvP, Ders does better damage than Jillian for the same reason. However, when Jillian hits Ders, he doesn’t mitigate her damage at all. The result is high burst damage on both sides.
In Mists PvE, Ders still does better damage than Jillian, because his higher ilevel PvE gear has more offensive stats. The difference is smaller however because Jillian’s PvP stats aren't part of the item budget.

The item level difference is the main distinction.

In Mists PvP, they both do about the same amount of raw damage to each other, with a slight edge for Jillian. Her power stat offsets Ders's PvE stats. Jillian takes less damage because of her PvP Defense (let’s say it’s 50% damage reduction), but Ders still has 30% damage reduction innately, so he doesn’t blow up either. Again the difference is smaller. If Ders wants to get serious about PvP, he’s eventually going to want PvP gear, and Jillian will want more PvE gear to do PvE.

Another way to think about it is that we are pushing PvP and PvE gear closer together with two changes: A player in PvE gear always has some base PvP defense (it's like a little PvP gear for free). A player in PvP gear can do more damage and healing than today in PvP because of the new Power stat (it's like a little PvE gear for free).

Right now, if you walk into PvP using PvE gear, odds are there are some dudes that aren't wearing any resilience at all that you can probably blow up. On the same token, even when fighting players that have resilience, your raw output is higher compared to them, because you have more raw dps (or healing) stats on your PvE gear.

In Mists, everyone will be a bit tougher, so even fresh PvPers aren't as likely to get insta-gibbed, making pure PvE gear less useful straight out of the gate. At the higher end, a PvP geared player will both do more damage in PvP and take less damage in PvP than a player in similarly powerful PvE gear.

So, right now, there isn't an alternative to using awesome PvE gear in PvP. A great PvE trinket beats anything from PvP. In 5.0 a trinket with PvP stats should beat out a PvE trinket in PvP.

Legendary items might be an outlier, because legendary items are legendary, and the additional item levels will probably make them competitive with PvP items. On the other hand, we also expect legendary items to be *much* more rare than they are currently, so they'll also be less of a factor.

When you state that PvE gear will have a higher item level than "equivalent" PvP gear, are you referring to normal or heroic raiding gear?
Perhaps I misunderstood the question? I'm referring to gear, in general. If we were to compare introductory PvE gear with introductory PvP gear, the PvP gear would have a lower item level, but would be stacked with lots of 'free' PvP Power and Defense that don't count against that items item budget. In reality, it would be just as, if not more powerful than the equivalent PvE item, but exclusively for the purposes of PvP.

Have you ever considered implementing a stat on PvE gear that's reminiscent to PvP Power and Defense, but for PvE scenarios? For example, a stat that increases damage dealt to non-player characters only?
In a way, this is already the case. There are stats that are of great value in PvE that are extremely sparse in PvP items, and also extremely weak in PvP. Hit is a good example.

That sounds great, honestly. I just wonder how committed you (Blizzard) is to this concept.
Well, we aren't particularly happy with the way some of these PvE burst trinkets (Cunning and Vial in particular) have worked out in PvP. Future trinkets aren't likely to follow the same model, though we do want to make trinkets powerful and interesting when we can. We can make PvP trinkets compelling by (just for example) doing things like offering proc or on-use effect to provide PvP Power, much as we already have equivalent PvE trinkets that proc strength or spell power.

If we still run into issues with out of control trinkets, then we have levers we can pull, like adjusting the internal cooldown, or reducing the spikiness of their output. Either way, allowing Cunning of the Cruel to be so dominant in PvP qualifies as a misstep.

I'm trying to get my head around it, would you say PVP power in a sense is like +100 damage against undead enchants, or more of a Res pen?
Think +damage, not penetration. Your PvP Power isn't less valuable if your target isn't already stacked with PvP Defense.

What about healers? How do they fit into this equation? Can healers just wear PvE gear?
PvP Power will increase the healing done to other players in PvP situations, so no worries there.

Should we expect PvP will involve a lot of 10%-->100% healing and 100%-->10% damage then?
We want healing to scale with PvP Power, but that doesn't mean that bonus healing has to scale at the same rate as bonus damage from PvP Power. Again, we have levers we can adjust to make PvP feel good.

I have a concern that the model you're suggesting won't be able to deliver on the two-fold promise of keeping 'PvE gear out of competitive PvP' and 'reducing the barrier of entry.'
That's an understandable concern, and it's true that as gear gets beefier tier by tier, it gets harder for new players to step into the fray, but even then, the innate defenses coming in Mists should help a lot. We're also aiming for the power curve from un-geared to geared level 90 player to be flatter than it currently is at 85, which should also help.

We want the PvP community to grow, so at least one of the goals here is to let players cross over more easily into PvP than they can today. That said, we're not expecting a just-dinged level 90 player to step into a 5.3 BG and smash face against dudes in stacked PvP gear. I'm pretty sure that's not what you guys want either. We do want someone who's moderately geared to have a much better chance in Mists than he or she does in today's PvP environment, though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with six new pieces of fan artwork.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Diablo III PvP Arena System Postponed, Blue Posts, Fan Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 93 Comments
  1. Gruul's Avatar
    God, that has to be the worst fanart I've seen. The bug-eyed boob lady had me rofling.
  1. Idletime's Avatar
    I think the artist went a little too big on the blood elf there. While I like em large, that was a little overdone and a bit of an asian influence. Thumbs down.

    Now. Why I hate GC - Volume 429.
    I appreciate him and the other designers totally making the game something I don't want to bother with anymore. My addiction was cured thanks to your constant fiddling around and making it not so much fun anymore. You have a PvP focused expansion with more class breaking PvE/PvP balance attempts and the answer isn't really going to cut it.

    Spell resistance - I know how it works, I've played this game since the time we had to farm to beat a boss or you didn't progress and it made the game interesting. It never was too difficult to understand unless you were stupid. The actual reason is they want bosses to lay down faster and aren't really interested in requiring a guild/playerbase to work towards anything other than mechanics that aren't as interesting. I remember having to actually help out my guild's tanks so we could get past Hydross. Omg, it was backbreaking work because all 2 of them had to have it as opposed to the days when 40 had to wear resists and totally held us up and prevented... wait a minute it was something you did. Not like they've required resistance since about BT but that was also about the same time raiding was still a challenge. WoW died this expansion, I hate saying it but they really handed the hardcore gaming audience to Trion and Bioware. That's fine if you're a casual gamer and all, but this crap used to be more fun.
  1. Korgoth's Avatar
    Corner Greg Street or any other high up developer with control over class balancing and ask them why they nerfed Arms Warriors and Resto Druids into useless specs in PVP, while at the same time letting Rogues, Warlocks, Mages, and Resto Shaman keep incredibly unfair abilities that caused them to dominate Arena and PVP as a whole for the entire expansion.I want an answer as to why Warriors having C Smash with 11% high end arena rep was so overpowered it demanded a balancing patch, but Rogues with 25% MS, 70% arp and Smoke Bomb with 20% arena rep are not being nerfed! Why Resto Druids were left to rot? Why warlock shaman which was clearly imbalanced in S9, S10, and S11 was never dealt with?AND WHY SHOULD I BUY MISTS OF PANDARIA WHEN THEY FUCKED ME OVER IN CATA WITH A BUNCH OF HORSESHIT NERFS TO MY WARRIORS!
  1. Nag's Avatar
    In relation to the forum posts, I do believe they check the forums but the fact that 99% of the good posts get washed away and flooded over by the morons that post on the official forums. Good productive threads get locked due to internet hero's 'trolling' and just derailing threads because hurhurhur it's funny.

    I spent a lot of time over the years posting constructive threads, giving correct feedback and suggestions to fix obvious flaws and bugs and helping alot of people in the process.

    All that came of it was continued frustration and nothing being resolved bar the same old promises of 'it will be fixed next patch', we are aware of this issue and are looking into it, focus will resolve that issue, roll a dk and shut up etc etc.
    It get's to the point where you just cannot be bothered anymore, the issue seems that they brush over 'lesser' bugs/issues for another time then another batch of problems turn up and the original ones get pushed down further and further until they are just considered 'working as intended'.

    As to the scroll of ress's.. yeah another clever if not overtly obvious 'gief us some moar monies' business plan. It's a shame they don't spend as much time on the game development as they do on these money making idea's. But i've commented on those already so no need to go back over it again.

    As a long time player *end of vanilla* I don't expect to be given presents everyday and a pat on the back for playing, at the same time I can understand why so many say long time players are overlooked. The company obviously wants to get people back playing so they will offer them more offers and such.
    I think one thing that kill's it for some players is when they have something slightly rare, be it a mount/weapon or such.. blizzard have a tendency to make it widely available to everyone.. yes it's just pixels but those pixels do lend for some mild form of originality and status in game.. it goes hand in hand for me with the rehashing of old raids/dungeons. Going a bit off topic here tbh.

    The general feeling I have gotten in recent years is that.. your a long term player and always pay your sub on time or in advance so your a dead set to continue playing out of habit more than love of the game and we don't really need to worry about your issues because you will continue to play. Our main worries are with the players who leave or are playing for short periods of time and shift around to game after game after game... i call these players 'timmy power gamers'.

    But as soon as long time players etc get anything.. the timmy power gamers would flood the forums with OMG IZ NO FAIR THEY CAN HAZ ALL THE STUFF WHY U HATZ ME BLLIZZARD' and blizzard will crumble as usual and give it to them in some lame way to shut them up.

    But such is this game. I've about 2 months left on my sub and I have no interest in pumping anymore money into the company because for me it's just been getting worse and worse and really.. anyone who falls for the things like the recent GC post and the whole propaganda on the next exp.. well.. yeah, you ain't got a leg to stand on.
  1. ZambieZan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gruul View Post
    God, that has to be the worst fanart I've seen. The bug-eyed boob lady had me rofling.
    Pamela Elferson.
  1. Okacz's Avatar
    MoP pvp system... Seriously, after WotLK creation of ding-and-raid tards, and after Cata creation of LFR tards, here it comes. The apogee of PvP tards history. Of course, it is PvE apporach. I don't pvp much in WoW, especially in Cata. But check this. Easiest raids in WotLK and Cata, VoA and BH. After some time spent looking for pugs you gonna ALWAYS get a whisper from a full - PvP geared guy. And the same old chat: Pvpmagepwn whispers: Inv me plz know tacts 401 ilvl Goodplayer whispers: 401 PvE gear? Pvpmagepwn whispers: PvP but I do fine in PvP gear my dummy dps is over 15k Goodplayer whispers... Or simply does not. PvP geared mr. awesome is being sorted out. And now MoP scheme. Pvpmagepwn whispers: Inv me plz know tacts 578 ilvl Goodplayer whispers: PvE gear? Pvpmagepwn: what do you mean pve gear? Yep. It is going to happen, and we gonna see it.
  1. Unkiejay's Avatar
    I don't mind them holding back the PvP in Diablo 3, but I do find it strange they done it at all, because usually they would just hold the whole game back, maybe they're running out of time.
  1. FJF Rocks you's Avatar
    Going babar all way in Diablo 3 (:
    im one of the many ppl who left wow in cata with lots of friends
    we all used to play warrior and yeh if you have played wow cata you know why i left when i say i were warrior arena player. rofl
  1. VincentWolf's Avatar
    Geez that big boobed elf eyes creep me out big time... At least she got something else to stare at.... And that male elf model is simply gorgeous, look at these textures, this is exactly how wow updated models should look like. Wish that author made a draenei or human fems, instead of a gayelf though, but still it's fantastically done.
  1. Gruul's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaellen View Post
    The last pic, the one of the Belf priest, is probably the best done art of a female blood elf ever. Not overly sexualized, but enough to make it appealing in that respect, while realistically proportioned. That is what a female blood elf would look like in real life, I'd imagine. On to the PVP changes! Good stuff all around I'd say. This is actually how SWTOR does it with Expertise.
    Not overly sexualized? Hilarious.

    Just goes to show what kind of standards people hold for WoW fan art.
  1. Sophix's Avatar
    why is it always the bloofelfs ppl like to draw..
  1. Asatru's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sophix View Post
    why is it always the bloofelfs ppl like to draw..
    Master race.
  1. draalin's Avatar
    hurry up and come out!

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