Diablo 3 Game Design Update Outlines Future Plans


In a surprisingly frank Game Design Update on Memorial Day, Blizzard gave Diablo 3 fans a look at the future of the game. They started by explaining the recent hotfix, which many players (especially Monks) saw as an aggressive nerf. According to the developers, some skills just weren’t working as intended, and we can expect to see more tweaks as the game continues to age.

On to Inferno. Blizzard claims to be interested in promoting “build diversity,” and toning down some of the damage “spikiness” to offer a more well-rounded challenge. Sounds good to us. Other changes in the forthcoming patch (1.0.3) include changes to items, which will now display an item level to aid comparison, especially when it comes to Legendary Items, which the devs claim are “not designed to necessarily be the best items in the game.” That said, in patch 1.1 (the PVP patch, who knows when that will come out), they’ll get a buff across the board.

Blizzard is also concerned about the two crafting mechanics, and intend to make wholesale changes. Blacksmithing training and crafting costs will come down in 1.0.3, and you’ll only need two gems for Covetous Shen to combine them and form a higher-level bauble. Hopefully these changes are sufficiently aggressive; look for an editorial on Game Front that takes on current, broken state of the crafting system.

The Update also contained some interesting statistics, presented below. If you’re interested in all the details, you can read it at the official site.

  • On average players have created 3 characters each
  • 80% of characters are between levels 1 and 30
  • 1.9% of characters have unlocked Inferno difficulty
  • 54% of Hardcore players chose a female character
  • The majority of Hardcore deaths (35%) occur in Act I Normal
  • The most common level 60 build in the game is only used by 0.7% of level 60 characters of that class (not including Passive diversity)
  • The most used runes for each class at level 60 are Barbarian: Best Served Cold, Demon Hunter: Lingering Fog, Wizard: Mirror Skin, Monk: Peaceful Repose, Witch Doctor: Numbing Dart

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