Diablo 3 - Open Beta Weekend!

Diablo III Open Beta Weekend
If you want to play or talk about the game with other MMO-Champion users, check out our Diablo III forum! Don't forget that this beta will allow everyone to add BattleTag friends for use in both Diablo III and WoW, allowing you to take part in cross-realm play without using RealID.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're pleased to announce the Diablo III open beta weekend, which offers open access to all players with a valid Battle.net account! Beginning this Friday everyone is invited to log in and help us put the game and servers through their paces in this three day stress test as we march toward the game's release on May 15. You can begin downloading the Diablo III client right now!

From Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT you'll be able to log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion.

What steps do I need to take?
I don't have a Battle.net account -- can I still play?
Absolutely! Just visit http://www.battle.net to create a free Battle.net account. Next, download the client from https://us.battle.net/account/download/index.xml and install it. Create your BattleTag, and then log in to the game using your Battle.net account name (email address) and password to begin slaughtering the demonic hellspawn that dare stand in your way.

Are there any differences for stress test participants versus invited closed beta testers?
Stress test participants will only be able to access the beta between Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), and Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. In addition, stress test participants will not have access to post in the beta forums and will not be provided Beta Bucks for use in testing the currency-based auction house.

Can all regions/countries participate?
Due to regional differences and features of the stress test client, Korean players will not be able to partake in the stress test weekend. However, beginning the week of April 23, we will be conducting a separate, invitation-only closed beta test that will give players in Korea a chance to try out the game, along with players in the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

What if the service is down/laggy/disconnecting me?
It's very possible that players connecting to the stress test could experience issues with the service. While not ideal, this is exactly why we're having a stress test. We want to catch and analyze as many bugs as possible during this stress test period, so that we can try to ensure a smooth launch on May 15.

I'm having an issue, how can I get help?
Due to the limited window of the stress test we encourage you to visit the Technical Support or Mac Technical Support forums if you're having any issues running the game, and checking the Known Issues list if you're running into a bug. As a stress test participant you will not be able to post in the beta forums.

What platforms and languages do you support?
For the stress test we're offering the client in English, French, and German for both Windows and Mac. At release the game will be fully localized into English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Korean, and Traditional Chinese for Windows, and English, French, and German for Mac.

I'm an invited closed beta tester, what happens after the stress test weekend ends?
As an invited closed beta tester you'll continue to have access until the beta ends on May 1.

Stormstout Brewery Broken Dreams Quest
During this quest, you play as Chen Stormstout as he discovers the state of disrepair that the Stormstout Brewery is in, and attempt to speak with Uncle Gao.

Galleon World Boss Defeated
Several groups have defeated Galleon now, and we have finally had a chance to do so as well. Every time we asked for people to come out and take part in the raid, more of your came than anticipated and ended up crashing the server. We do want to thank the more than 600 players that came out the first time though!

The fight doesn't appear to be complete yet, so keep in mind it is currently easier than intended and will be changed before release.

Class Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Monk (Forums)
Monks don't have Nunchucks!
We asked the developers about this recently. The idea is definitely cool, but we don't currently have weapons that have moving parts quite like nunchaku. They'd require some pretty hefty animation work to get lookin' good.

Personally, I'd love to see it. But alas there are many priorities for our artists. Maybe some day? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mistweaver Off-Hands
Mistweavers essentially have two weapon options: a two-handed staff, or a caster weapon and an off-hand. They won't be able to heal with Agility weapons (the monk will have no spellpower) and may not even be able to dual wield (since you can't dual wield caster weapons).

Mistweavers who want to melee a lot will do more dps with a staff (though caster staves do less damage than melee staves), but we can make sure the healing is the same whether using a staff or a healer mace / dagger / sword.

It's also not the end of the world if healer monks slightly prefer staves, since not all healers want staves. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums)
Paladin Talent Trees
It's cool if you found a lot of interesting choices in the 4.3 talent builds. I just want to make sure you understand that you're in the minority.

I think you mentioned paladin, so I'll throw out a few examples.
  • 100% of Retribution paladins on live in North America have Zealotry. I couldn't find a single one without. It makes sense. Zealotry is decently fun and a definite DPS upgrade.
  • 2% of Retribution paladins have the Eternal Glory talent. One can argue that some of those may just be user error. Maybe a few of them found the talent really useful though.
  • 75% of Retribution paladins have Repentance. Okay, that starts to get a little interesting. One can assume that most paladins find the talent useful, but some find other choices more compelling. Unlike Zealotry or Eternal Glory, I would argue that Repentance is an interesting choice. Incidentally, we left it as a choice in the 5.0 talent trees.
  • 20% have Selfless Healer, though if you look at players who PvP a lot, it jumps up to over 90%. Here is another interesting talent (by which I mean not a no-brainer) and it's also a talent we left in 5.0 in a modified form.
So here is another talent tree model we could have used: we could have given you 12 or more talent rows, and left some of them as no-brainers. Maybe we put Art of War up against Reckoning. I bet most Ret paladins would take Art of War. So we saved you having to make a button click and just gave it to you.

(Aside: I've said before that we do think there is room in the game for some safe choices. Sometimes clicking a button that you're 100% certain you are going to click is still fun. That kind of "choice" has its place. We just don't think the talent trees are the best place for that design, given that some of the rows are supposed to be real choices and some would just be "feel good about yourself" choices.)

There is yet another model where we somehow make Reckoning just as competitive as Art of War for Ret paladins. That might be an exciting model, but it's also pretty overwhelming both for us to develop and for you to learn and master. The combinatorial effects for even a six tier talent tree are enormous.

We aren't done with the new talent trees, but you also shouldn't assume that everything is so in flux that it isn't worth giving feedback. If you feel there are no-brainers, let us know specifically which choices you're talking about and why. Is it just a manner of number tuning? Is it a case of just your play style and that others might disagree?

(Please don't do that in this thread though -- we have a whole forum for beta class feedback, and we read all of the posts.)

With spells, glyphs, and talents being so far spread out (as well as automatically being granted spells), folks who are leveling new toons in beta aren't feeling as though their character is improving over time
Note that you’re probably getting about the same number of spells as you level up (or ideally a few less because most classes have some bloat). You are getting fewer talent choices, but as I tried to explain above, we feel like many of those weren’t real choices.

The talent system was originally implemented way back in vanilla beta to give players some ability to customize their character. We’d rather it serve that purpose than being an interesting level up mechanic. Leveling up is generally pretty rewarding on its own. It is at max level where players often find themselves getting bored. There are many reasons for that and we’re trying to address the problem in multiple ways in Mists, but letting two Fire mages standing next to each other have different talents is a good start.

I totally agree with this. There are a few interesting choices in there, but for the most part I felt like it didn't matter. I could have clicked anything and it would have made no difference.
I see this opinion sometimes, but it’s sort of a catch 22. The argument goes that if there is one obvious choice from three, then the choice isn’t interesting. I'm with you so far. But if all three choices are valid, then the argument is that the choice still isn’t interesting because there isn’t a wrong answer. I don’t think that ultimately holds water though – saying there are valid choices isn’t the same as saying the choice is irrelevant.

Let’s assume that housing prices and average pay are similar between Austin and Milwaukee. (I have no idea if that is true, but let's assume I took the time to Google average housing prices and pay scales in two USA cities and found two suitable examples.) Moving to either city might be a valid choice. There isn’t a “right” answer. But you would certainly notice the difference! Decisions don’t become irrelevant just because there are multiple valid options.

I have respecced 5 times on the beta. That is 5 more times I have respecced my unholy spec on live in a year.

I think the biggest issue, and the one you never seem to grasp in all of your silly replies, is that if I am a holy paladin, I want to make choices related to healing. If I am a ret paladin, I want to make choices related to DPS. If I am a prot paladin, I want to make choices related to tanking.
If we give you a tanking, healing and DPS choice and you are a Holy paladin, then you’re going to pick the healing one. It seems like we should just make that automatic rather than require you to pick it manually.

Or as Malis says below: When I go to a lobster buffet I still want them to serve me rice, baked potatoes,fries, and salads that I'm not going to eat.

If you’re asking for a Holy paladin specific talent tree with 3 good choices per tier, that gets back into the issue I mentioned before, where the number of talents in the game would be insane (612 I think). Probably you'd just see a lot of +5% crit talents again.

Besides, things like survivability and crowd control are mechanics that are useful to virtually every character. One of the cool things about scenarios is that they often don’t have a tank, so stuff is attacking you more, so you have to deal with it. Survival, control and escape buttons are really useful for those.

Even in very hardcore raiding situations, the healer that worries only about healing and nothing else (including their own survival) isn’t a great contributor to the team.

and who gives a damn about the trash before said bosses
Tragically, trash do kill players and any time you spend there is less time you have to focus on bosses that night. Bosses often have adds as well.

I was unaware of any poll to back up this statement.
Miscomm. My comment wasn’t about how much players like or dislike the system. My comment was that players who come up with builds that are creative yet effective in the live game are in a very small minority. The overwhelming number of players use the same builds, which should be a pretty good indication that the system isn't meeting its goals of offering choice.

I don’t need to poll players to figure out that data, because we can just look at the data.

This example makes no sense- OF COURSE 100% of ret paladins have Zealotry, because you're forced to put 31 points in a tree to access the other two. Many players used to use mixed specs such as SL/SL or reckadin specs back when that was an option, and probably still would if it was actually possible.
I have a lot of confidence that 90%+ of Ret paladins would take Zealotry if it was in the first tier of Holy. The only reason players historically went halfway down two trees is when they found degenerate builds that were so brokenly overpowered that it was worth giving up the core abilities that we assume they have in order to function. On the other hand, if you were a Ret paladin who liked to be able to heal a little, the new talent trees should help you do that.

You're absolutely right, Mr Crab, Cataclysm talents were horrible. Instead of stripping away even more character customization and experimental playstyles, how about you go back to the perfectly functional talent system we had in WOTLK and before?
Now that data I don't have in front of me, but I'm fairly confident that the kinds of percentages I offered above would look the same for LK or BC. There might have been more variation in vanilla, but that was probably because you got worse results from Googling “Combat raiding spec” back then.

Take these new talents but put them at the bottom of talent trees. To get to the bottom of these trees, we have to click some colored boxes that do nothing. Now people will feel like they're choosing these new talents because they're clicking more boxes just like the good old times! So much customization!
Lol. We debated a system where players could choose the order they earned spells or even combat stats like haste, so long as everyone ended up with the whole package at max level. We ultimately decided that enough players would ask “Why offer a choice with so little impact?” and weren’t sure we’d get enough bang for the buck out of such a feature. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shaman (Forums)
Shamans Totems Aren't Fun
Shaman have been telling us for years that they don't find buff totems fun. Back when the shaman role was essentially to buff the other classes, the design worked okay, but now that we have moved shaman into being a "real" healer and damage-dealer, we also gave plenty of other classes and specs buff capacities of their own, which rarely have the downsides of totems. Another concern was that shaman out questing while solo felt that having to drop 4 totems every boar kill got to be a drag.

We are trying in 5.0 to shift totems over to cooldowns that are more situational but that you'll actually feel. It's hard to feel the effects of Strength of Earth Totem.

However, we have a large and diverse audience, and we understand that there are shaman players out there who enjoyed dropping 4 buff totems and that that made them feel like a shaman. It's hard to reconcile that desire with the desire of others not to have buff totems, but we hear you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock (Forums)
Warlock Rotation Changes
His inference is people were doing it because they are stupid.
On the contrary, they were doing it because they were smart.

We have to balance around the rotations players actually use. Players wouldn't find it acceptable if Destro warlocks did 20% higher dps than the next closest class just because players figured out to use a spell we intended for Affliction. In that case one of two things happen -- either we somehow change spell rules and numbers such that you drop the Affliction spell, or we are unsuccessful in changing things, you use the Affliction spell, and we still have to balance your dps against everyone else. In that world, warlocks have a more complicated rotation to execute for the same dps as everyone else. That's not so cool.

It's not often a more engaging rotation either. Backdraft procs are kind of fun, but dependent on Conflag (in 4.3 anyway). If you could find a higher DPS rotation that neglected Conflag, you'd feel compelled to do it, even if that meant no Backdraft. You can find plenty of examples where players say essentially "Please nerf this rotation, because it's not fun." They're smart and know that we balance players based on actual performance (in other words we'll still make sure their DPS is competitive after nerfing the sucky rotation).

(You also have to consider how much development time we spend doing things like trying to discourage spec A from using spell Y. That is development time better spent on making your character more fun to play.)

With the concept of spec spells, we can say that e.g. Shadow Bolt is for Demonology. We don't have to worry about Destro warlocks trying to squeeze it in their rotation, because they don't have the button period.

Now having said that, I feel like I need to soften that a bit lest we get accused of overly constraining player experimentation. If smart players can find small dps improvements by doing tricky things, we're generally cool with that. Less skilled players won't be so far behind that we need to nerf the class as a whole or balance around the assumption that most players will be doing the clever trick. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
400,000 Annual Pass Invites Sent Out
Due to the large number of invites sent there are some that bounced back for various reasons, and we'll be working to apply those invites over the next few days. If you haven't received your invite yet it's likely you're one of the few affected by such an issue, and rest assured we're working to get you into the beta as soon as possible. Please be aware that customer service does not have the ability to flag accounts. Thank you for your patience.

Amazing that this has never come up in the 650k previous invites.
It has, actually. We're still working to resolve a few outlying account issues from the very first waves that are keeping us from being able to properly flag people. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Future Beta Invites
Yes. We'll continue doing waves of invites as needed to provide access to people who sign up for Annual Pass, as well as randomly to people who have opted in for Blizzard beta tests via Account Management. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Faction Bias
The factions aren't meant to be carbon copies of each other. If you're drawing comparisons to every piece of content in the game and are of the opinion that Horde have it better, maybe you're playing on the wrong team.

There's nothing wrong with it. Garrosh could use more fodder for the front lines and you sound pretty anxious to be at the forefront of all the action.

A level whatever Pandaren's combat skills are on par with a major lore character?
No, that's how strong and special you are as a pandaren, but your combat skills are not on par with Varian's just because you got a jab in. When Varian asks to spar he mentions that he's never actually seen pandaren combat techniques in person. He gets caught off-guard by one of your jabs and it surprises everyone, including Varian himself. But he mentions it's exciting to him! He shows clear respect for his new allies -- an admirable quality in a king.

It's the spaghetti western* equivalent of him rubbing his hand across his mouth to find evidence of blood after being punched once by his enemy, just before smiling about it and ripping his opponent's heart out in one fell swoop -- except he doesn't go that far since it's just sparring.

If you're still worried that Varian is a weak king, I guess you can sit back and wait to watch more videos from the beta out of context. I'm sure you'll eventually see him kicking [email protected]# and taking names!

But again, I suggest you decide what race and faction really appeals to you and focus a little more on what you enjoy about the game. You think it's cooler to be thrown in an arena for a match to the death to prove to your new leader you're worthy? Awesome! We have a faction for that. It's not the Alliance, however, and we're not going to mold them into a copy of the Horde just to reduce the amount of quibbling on the forums. If you feel these kinds of threads are helping prove your case, I assure you they only reaffirm for us that we need to ride with our passion of making the coolest game possible, where players can pick from two distinct factions and several different races depending on their personality and preference.

*Okay, I admit it. I was actually thinking of Dumb & Dumber when writing that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Active Mitigation Feedback
I worry a little that "active mitigation" is getting used by various players to just mean "how I want tanking to be." The designers use it for a pretty specific meaning, so let me redefine it here.

Active mitigation is using your resources for defensive purposes.

Having a bunch of free cooldowns isn't active mitigation (using our strict definition) because you could still be an effective tank by standing there not attacking a boss and cycling free cooldowns. We don't think that would be fun. Hitting a boss with your weapons (or bear claws) is more fun. However, for many tanks, hitting a boss just to contribute 30-50% of the damage of a DPS class isn't very engaging either. Active mitigation converts your rage, runes, energy or holy power into survival. (Not guaranteed survival, because then you won't need healers at all -- but it should provide enough granularity that great tanks survive more than average tanks.)

As an aside, having some free cooldowns is fun and useful. However, it's not our goal to make sure each tank has the exact same number and character of cooldowns. In fact, we think it's a little dull. How disappointing it would be to get your Brewmaster to 90 only to discover she had all the same abilities as your paladin, with different names and icons? As long as the various tanks can handle every encounter with about the same effectiveness and relative skill, we think the system works. We haven't always nailed that, especially in early Lich King, but we think it has been the case for more recent content.

Some of you are characterizing active mitigation as "I spam my finisher." You could probably do that and be a somewhat effective LFR tank. For more challenging content, you'll often want to save your abilities a few seconds for when you need them most. Waiting too long doesn't make sense, because then you're just wasting your resources, and besides, you have the free cooldowns for the really big boss attacks, as well as plenty of healer cooldowns.

For example, if the boss is about to buff himself with something that makes his swings bigger and he does that every 15 seconds or so (too frequently for Shield Wall) and your health is relatively stable (meaning you're not about to die, but you also don't want to just soak the attack) then it makes sense to hold your Shield Block for when a block mitigates 50,000 damage instead of 30,000 damage. Now, if you are about to die, Shield Block RIGHT NOW might be much more attractive. In fact, you might also use Last Stand or Shield Wall, but then of course those abilities won't be available for a couple of minutes. Those kinds of decisions are the ones that (in my experience) tanks find enjoyable and a test of experience and skill.

I think it's simplistic to say that hit / expertise and finishers work against each other. That's like saying that avoidance and mitigation work against each other, because if you avoid an attack, then the mitigation is wasted. It is typically only a problem if you can stack a particular stat to infinity, reach a hard cap, or if one stat is dramatically more valuable than another. A warrior with low hit won't have enough rage for Shield Block. A warrior with low mastery will block a lot, but not mitigate enough damage. A warrior with low avoidance will take predictable damage but drain healer mana. A warrior with low Stamina might not be able to survive a big hit that lands at the same time as a magic attack. Ideally, players can focus on various stat allocations to find out what feels right for them or even tailor gear for particular fights (within reason -- we're not going back to resist gear anytime soon).

If you think a particular stat is undervalued, by all means let us know, but you're probably going to have to provide some math to make your argument. We also don't spend a great deal of effort balancing all of the numbers in beta until we're happy with the abilities -- there is no point making Shield of the Righteous play really nice with mastery if we decide to redesign the ability.

I'm honestly not that worried about our team being able to balance all the tanks. The tank classes were all close enough in Dragon Soul that most raiding groups were able to use their existing main tanks, even on heroic fights, yet there were still some situations where various tanks shined and they felt different enough that a Blood DK wasn't just a warrior blocking with a sword instead of a shield. If balance is something we can solve, then the big thing to worry about is whether or not tanking is fun. We don't think standing there doing nothing, or standing there trying to maximize DPS is going to be fun for tanks, so we want the attacks to translate into some amount of tank survivability. That's the intent behind active mitigation in a nutshell.

I know I have spent a lot of effort discussing and attempting to explain the design intent here, but we really want to get it right. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This article was originally published in forum thread: Diablo III Open Beta Weekend, Stormstout Brewery Quest, Galleon Defeated, Blue Posts started by chaud View original post
Comments 105 Comments
  1. kazso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gollee View Post
    Still early beta. Oh well

    MoP gonna be well refreshing compared to Catalycsm!
    It's gonna be as refreshing as TBC or WotLK was.
    MoP has nothing new to offer in the long run, nothing changes "under the hood". You will play in a static world, killing stuff with this "ancient" static combat system, doing the same static quests and static dungeons over and over again.
    I would recommend TB's youtube video (/watch?v=NQcbuCOa_4Q&t=6m30s). He sums up perfectly how i currently feel about WoW and why i'm gonna cancel my subscription when the Annual Pass expires.
    With games like D3, GW2, Tera, Firefall coming out this year there is really no point playing WoW anymore. As TB said: "...it's like playing Fifa 98. Why would i do that?"
  1. Zehir's Avatar
    Does anyone know how to quickly swap between abilitys like in that early video with the Barbarian and Witch doctor gameplay

    Skip to 1:56
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zehir View Post
    Does anyone know how to quickly swap between abilitys like in that early video with the Barbarian and Witch doctor gameplay

    Skip to 1:56
    I would ask that over in the DiabloFans forums.
  1. Pumps's Avatar
    Can't believe Blizzard still hasn't learned how to make interfaces with adjustable font sizes - bloody amateurs.
  1. Throrion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    You could easily argue the opposite and have equal ground to stand on the argument. As it stands the game is easier than ever
    Nope, hardmodes are much harder than the vast majority of TBC and vanilla raids, funny how that works.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    rewards failure equally as it does success
    I don't see people who don't raid on heroic mode running around in heroic mode gear, I guess you're wrong again.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    has increasingly cartoony themes/artwork/characters
    I'm sorry, but are you trying to argue that anthropomorphic pandas are somehow more cartoony and childish than anthropomorphic cows? Really? That's adorably delusional.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    has incorporated the major elements of another "children's" videogame.
    Except the design philosophy behind the addition makes perfectly rational sense and will probably add a whole lot of gameplay value to the millions of people who are running short on things to do in older game systems such as leveling alts or getting achievements. How exactly is this a bad thing from an adult's perspective? Oh, wait, probably wrong person to ask

    And today we learned that you being so completely insecure as to feel the need to label a game played by 10 million people of all ages as a kids' game does not really make it so. Sorry if this upsets you :x

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