Blizzard on Invulnerable Minions, Commodity AH, and More

Blizzard Blue Tracker: 

Invulnerable Minions

Speaking in general about monster affixes: 

The intention is for there to be differences in the difficulties of the monster packs. Some are hard, some are easy -- and some may seem impossible. When you are first beginning Inferno, you can pick off the easy ones without much challenge, but you may have to skip some of the harder ones. 

That's okay. As you become more powerful, you can survive better, deal more damage, and take on some of the affix packs you previously chose to avoid. And after gearing up even further, eventually you can take them all on. It won't be a cakewalk, but you won't run in abject terror the next time you see that Invulnerable Minions combo pack sauntering your way ( might run a little). Certain monster affixes will also punish certain skill builds more than others, as many of our affixes do. 

We've been watching feedback closely about all the affix types and we've seen a lot of responses to concerns such as "I have no problem with them" or "use skill X instead and you'll be fine" or "I used to have trouble but then I got some X gear and now I'm fine". This is what we intend to happen over time. 

Speaking of Invulnerable Minions specifically: 

All that said, we definitely are paying attention to your feedback (as mentioned earlier), and we'll make adjustments to monster affixes as we see necessary. We will always intend that some affixes are harder than others, and we'll mostly be making adjustments to ensure some affixes aren't radically out of line.

Commodity Auctions

We're continuing to work on bringing commodity trading via the auction house back online, but we don't currently have an ETA to provide.

Stat Confusion

There are a number of bugs with Attack Speed at the moment, the most common offender being that on some set/Legendary items it just doesn't work at all. It's a known issue and something we'll be fixing in a future patch.

I recommend keeping an eye on the Known Issues sticky in the bug report forum for this and similar "known issues".

About Down Time and Maintenance

Yesterday's maintenance was actually scheduled for later in the afternoon. It's rare that maintenance periods which include a patch are not pre-determined. The original time was scheduled to allow the patch to be launched in all of our regions simultaneously during our lowest global concurrency. 

Unfortunately, due to a technical requirement, we needed to start maintenance significantly earlier in the day (at 11:00 am) and move away from a global launch, but we did not have much notice or time in which to communicate that to the public. This is not typical for these kind of deployments. 

I'm going to be candid and say that it was inappropriate for us to continue to refer to today's maintenance as "scheduled" after that point, even though from an internal perspective it was. From the community's perspective, there was nothing scheduled about it. You weren't provided much warning, and the maintenance occurred outside of its normal "Tuesday morning" window. 

There's nothing we can do to take back those communication mistakes. But, going forward, our goal is to provide as much advance notice as possible regarding downtime, both in the Breaking News window and here on the forums. If we are unable to provide advance notice, we will not make the same error in judgment and call such maintenances "scheduled." We'll include as many details as possible, and patch notes ahead of time, if applicable. 

In truth, this kind of feedback is incredibly helpful, as it tells us (quite bluntly) where we need to improve. I can't promise that each and every point of feedback will be addressed immediately or can be addressed, but I can assure you that we've learned a lot today and have already made adjustments to our communication plans for future service updates. 

Witch Doctor Pet Scaling

While the intent is for witch doctors to re-summon Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan fairly often, we agree that pets aren't living long enough in higher difficulty levels. Of course, the harder difficulties are supposed to be more challenging, but we don't think it's fun gameplay to cast Zombie Dogs, watch them die almost instantly, wait for the cooldown to reset, re-cast Zombie Dogs, watch them die almost instantly...etc. And this is happening even when players are wearing pretty reasonable gear. 

We're looking into ways to improve witch doctor pet survivability at later levels, but we don't have any clear plans to share just yet. One thing we're considering, though, is having pets scale with your Vitality (which they currently do not do).

Only 0 Items Allowed In Your Stash

We're aware that players are receiving an "Only 0 Items Allowed in Your Stash" error message when attempting to buy or sell auctions on the gold auction house. We're investigating those reports currently and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Error 37

We're aware that many players are receiving "Error 37" when logging into the game. This error indicates that the authentication service (the step that verifies your username and password, and checks to see that you've agreed to the Terms of Use) for Diablo III is experiencing is a high volume of traffic and cannot immediately process your login attempt. We're working to reduce the frequency at which players are prompted with this error message and ensure that everyone can log in and play as quickly as possible.

Rearranging the Character List

"We agree! We're looking to add the ability for players to reorganize their hero list in an upcoming patch (we're currently thinking 1.1.0)."

Questions Answered

Thanks for that. We really appreciate everyone helping to provide constructive feedback, and rest assured we're taking a lot of it with us to meetings, design decisions, and many will be seen in not-too-distant patches.

I'm going to do my best to answer/address/comment on each of these points, and approach each as plainly and honestly as possible, so please bear with me.

1) As a player, I want to have some sort of warning and/or confirmation box when I'm about to do something that will cause me to lose Nephalem Valor stacks so that I don't accidentally move or change an ability and lose my stacks.

Sounds reasonable. We're adding in an action bar lock which should help with that, but a confirmation sounds like a possible addition to that. I think we'd like to try to see if the action bar lock works well enough first.

2) As an Auction House user, I want a checkbox for "buyout only" so that I don't have to use a janky work-around.

Us too! This change should already be in for the 1.0.3 patch.

3) As an advanced player, I want the option to show numerical cooldowns on my abilities so that I can better time them.

We're really trying hard to avoid quickly bloating the game options, and since this would be an option, we're cautiously approaching it and a few other toggle/option requests. Short answer, probably not right now.

4) As a player, I want to be able to move and resize the chat window so that I can put it where I want it.

We would love if this was possible too, and we're right now looking into making it happen. The issue is that our UI system was designed in a way that makes this a pretty steep technical challenge. The question right now is just when we'd be able to pull it off. Unlikely for any nearby patches.

5) As a player, I want to be able to increase or decrease the font size in the chat window so that I can make it better for my monitor/resolution.

This change is in for patch 1.0.3! Yay.

6) As a player, I want to see absorption effects on my health bar so that I can easily see and act on my remaining absorption shield.

We really want to avoid showing health numbers or effects on the health resource spheres, it's just a UI clutter issue we're really trying to fight right now. A lot of easy solutions are to pile more UI on top of things, and it tends to really snowball once it begins. We could look at other tells or effects for this, though.

7) As a Wizard, I want to see a buff icon for "Magic Weapon" and "Familiar" so that I can know its current status.

We're adding a buff icon for Magic Weapon in 1.0.3. We don't intend to add one for Familiar as it's a physically visible object on your screen. Magic Weapon was actually impossible to tell if it was up in quite a few cases. We'll be continuing to watch skills and buff icons, though, as there could be some situations where we need to expose more.

8) As a player, I want some way to retain my stacks of Nephalem Valor when I accidentally disconnect so that I don't feel terrible if I disconnect with a 5-stack before a boss.

We would love that too. Seriously. We're already in the process of determining how much work it would be, and as always it's a balance of priorities. I think this is a matter of not if, but when, and right now we're not sure when we could get it in.

9) As a player, I want a way to disable lore/story text from showing up in the chat frame so that I don't have to always scroll after an in-game conversation.

This is actually already an option in-game! :D Sound -> Show Quest Dialog In-Chat (is what I believe it's called)

10) As a player, I want to have my previous follower always automatically follow me whenever I start a new single-player session so that I don't forget and have to go back.

Good idea. We'll look into it.

11) As an Auction House user, I would like to be able to repair my items from the auction house so that I can sell them without going in the game.

We're just changing it so you can sell damaged items in the next patch, and they're automatically repaired for the buyer for free.

12) As a Blacksmith, I want to see what tier an item is before I salvage it so I can know what materials to expect.

It’s something we’ve talked about, but no concrete plans at this time. There are potentially better issues to focus on first for crafting in general.

13) As a player, I want my pets/minions to not attack invulnerable targets and instead focus on vulnerable targets so that I can kill things faster.

Yes! We're looking into how to pull this off. It's a bit tricky just due to how monster states work, but it shouldn't be too difficult.

14) As a player, I want the experience bar to hide once I hit the maximum level so that it doesn't take up unnecessary screen space.

Our UI really isn't modular, so it'd be a lot of work just to save those few pixels. There's probably more important fish to fry at the moment.

15) As a player, I want to see what difficulty my friends are playing so that I can know if I'll be interested in joining them.

We have some great social window and quick join improvements coming in 1.0.3, including showing the game difficulty they're in, who else is in the game with them, a bunch of just nice usability and UI changes, as well as making the quick join window smarter by limiting who is shown to you by level and difficulty.

16) As a new player, I want to be made aware of "elective mode" once I've become familiar with the game so that I can learn about and try more advanced builds.

It's already shown through the loading tips, but we're looking to also add it as a tutorial tip that will show up whenever you begin a new difficulty from Nightmare-on.

17) As a player, I want it so that only my accepted friends can autojoin my game so that I don't get surprised by "recent players" that aren't my friends while playing.

Huh, well, yeah that sounds like a reasonable request. We'll look into it.

18) As an advanced player, I want the option to show numerical values around my health and power orbs so that I can make better decisions.

(see answer for number 6) I understand there's a desire to see more numbers exposed, but again we're really fighting UI and option bloat from all angles. I think a lot of additions are inevitable, but the game just came out 3 weeks ago and we're looking at a product where we'll be adding and tweaking for years and years.

19) As an Auction House user, I want to see a detailed view about all steps in the buying/selling process so that I can know exactly what the status on my purchase is (ex: "XXX Gold paid for YYY item, (newline)YYY item received, (newline), YYY item sent to stash")

I'll pass that along.

20) As a player, I want the game to automatically hit my next-best-potion type when I'm out of my current potion type so that I don't have to reassign it during a long fight.

Yeah, we think there could be some 'smarts' added to the potion button too. It's on a wish list, we don't know when it's something we could prioritize into an update.

21) As an Auction House user, I would like tooltips for damaged items to still show the item stats when looking at them from the sell menu so that I don't have to log into the game to see them (maybe just put "damaged" somewhere on the tooltip?).

I believe this is resolved with the ability to sell damaged items in the next patch.

22) As an Auction House user, I want to be able to have ascending/descending orders by stat in the Auction House UI so that I can better find an item I want.

We're looking at a number of AH UI improvements; there's still a ways to go. The biggest issue is really adding more options when we're already running into space constraints, but that's our problem, and we're working on it.

23) As a player, I want a "build saver" so that I can easily change between builds rather than trying to remember them.

We think that'd be cool too, it's something we've been considering for a while. We don't have it nailed down to begin working on it yet, though.

24) As a player, I want integration between the website's "build saver" and an in-game build saver so that I can screw around with builds while not logged in.

Hah! That'd be cool. Probably on an extended wish list. ;)

25) As an advanced player, I want to be able to move, scale, or hide any UI element so that I can make the UI convey me information in a more customized fashion.

Our UI isn't modular, so this would be very difficult. We also don't intend for the UI to be customizable to the degree of... well certainly not World of Warcraft, but any options we add for UI customization would be along the lines of minor tweaks. I realize a lot of MMO's have very customizable UI's these days, and people really like that, but it's just not a focus of functionality for the game. We'd rather understand what improvements people would like, why, and try to tackle those specific issues.

26) As a player, I would like some way to get Tomes of Jewelcrafting in Inferno that's not cumbersome so that I can combine my square gems without going back to Hell difficulty.

Ideally it's something you can help address through just throwing some gold at the auction house if you don't want to go back to Hell, but with commodities being down I realize that's not an option. Our preference would be to see if use of the AH helps you meet those needs by just buying what other players don't need. If not, we can look at some potential solutions.

27) As a player, I want a "Detailed Breakdown" option that allows me to compare stats such as resistances, magic finding, etc. so that I can better analyze item choices.

We're planning to roll resistances into the defense comparison, and we'll be evaluating other comparisons case by case. We know people really like the convenience of quick +/- red/green comparisons, but they're not always as informative as they're taken to be. In any case we're approaching additions cautiously.

28) As a player, I want a private chat UI element so that it will be easier for me to hold multiple private conversations at once.

Similar to question number 4 it's not something we're opposed to, but isn't easily pulled off due to how our UI works. We do want to improve the chat UI though, absolutely.

29) As a player, I want to be able to have a private chat room so that me and my friends can chat even if we're in different Diablo sessions.

Customizable/private chat channels, yes, it's something that's been on our list.

30) As an advanced Auction House user, I want a more complex query interface with "OR"/"AND" for stats so that I can better find an item I want to buy.

These are called boolean search terms, right? It's an interesting proposition. To parrot my previous AH-related responses, there's a lot of search improvements to be made.

31) As an Auction House user, I want to be able to see the stats of items that I've sold so that I can refer to previous sales when determining prices for new sales.

I can see how that could be useful.

32) As a ranged player, I want invulnerable minions to not block projectiles so that I can actually kill an invulnerable minion pack. (More of an opinionated one :-P)

Yeah, I mean, that's kind of just an issue of placement and projectile aim. We think Invulnerable enemies are a bit ridiculous right now anyway, but I wouldn't say this suggestion is probably needed if we just make some overall changes to them.

33) As a player, I want to be able to disable companion conversations so that I'm not annoyed hearing them all the time.


We're well aware. ;)

34) As a max level player, I want an option to skip all cutscenes/dialogue so that I don't have to constantly press the spacebar to advance in the current game flow.

If you hit Esc during any 'forced' conversations, cutscenes, etc. you can skip right through them. We think it works pretty well. I'd be open to hearing any specific issues it's causing, though.

35) As a player, I do not want my followers to initiate combat with elite, rare, or treasure goblins so that I can have more time to prepare to fight them.

We have some AI tweaks to do with followers, we know this can get pretty annoying (or deadly).

PHEW! Well, again, thanks for compiling that, thanks to everyone for your continued feedback. There's a lot here we're already aware of, working on, or have already implemented in a patch, and I realize there are a fair amount of other concerns not covered here that are also being addressed. We'll have some additional information on upcoming patches and improvements in the weeks ahead. Keep cool.