20 posts in this topic
Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
Bans for Non-Seasonal Players
The banhammer has struck once again in Diablo III, targeting cheaters in Non-Season.
You might remember the multiple banwaves that took place at the end of Season 5; both Realbookwurm and I had talked extensively about them. Quite a few high-profile players were targeted then and the impact on the leaderboards was massive.
This time, two banwaves seemed to have happened in Non-Season: one last week and one yesterday. As it was proved from the previous banwaves, most of the targeted players held some place in the leaderboards. Moreover, a lot of them were playing in Hardcore Non-Season. According to this Reddit thread, two high-profile players, Philosophios and Joebo, were among the people who got banned.
Some players have made posts complaining that they were banned unfairly. Obviously, no one but Blizzard can know if their statements are truthful. On the one hand, the community is quick to harshly turn down any claims of innocence. On the other hand, there can be false positives: a recent banwave in World of Warcraft also targeted a few innocent players by mistake. It is also notable that Blizzard hasn't admitted to any false positives in Diablo III this year (2016).
One explanation is that these bans can be retro-active. A player in r/diablo3 admitted to botting and getting banned, but he also noted that he botted before the middle of April. That's more than 2 months ago.
It is unsure which program was used by the cheaters targeted in the current banwaves. Players are asking Blizzard to clarify which methods are considered legitimate and which are not. Be aware that these may not be the only banwaves happening this period!
Lead Writer for Reaper of Souls Leaves Blizzard
Brian Kindregan, the lead writer for Diablo III's expansion Reaper of Souls, is no longer working for Blizzard Entertainment.
Brian Kindregan announced in his blog that he is no longer working for Blizzard. Kindregan is the leader writer for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. He has also worked as a writer on Bioware's Mass Effect 2. Here's what he had to say:
While we don't cover the StarCraft universe here in Icy Veins, it has one of the strongest stories in all of Blizzard's gaming universes. It really is worth checking out, even if you haven't played the games; in my opinion, it would make a really good movie or TV series. On the other hand, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has a simpler, shorter and more stereotypical story. Still, Reaper of Souls' story avoided the extremities and the weak plotlines and clichés of vanilla Diablo III.
This isn't the only loss the Diablo team has gone through recently. Diablo 3 lost three major devs on April (one left Blizzard altogether, while two were moved to the WoW team). Jay Wilson - lead designer of vanilla D3, who was later moved to the WoW team - left Blizzard as well a couple of weeks ago.
Did you enjoy the story of Reaper of Souls? And if you are familiar with the StarCraft II games, did you like their story?
Developer Insights: Behind the Goblin Giggle
Ever wondered how the trademark laughter of our favourite Sanctuary loot hoarders was created?
We love these insights on how Diablo III was created: they show what makes Blizzard a great company. Who hasn't excitedly yelled "GOBLIN!" after hearing its characteristic giggle? In a dedicated blog post, it is explained how the sounds of the Sanctuary were generally created, what is unique about the goblin sound and how it fit with the overall dark theme of the Diablo universe.
"Whee-hee!” It’s a natural reaction. The moment you hear that high-pitched, maniacal giggle, you have to track down its source. In an instant, you know by the sound of that mischievous squeal that untold treasures await. No matter the peril in your way, you will track it down and claim its hoard. That adrenaline rush all starts with a sound. Sound design can too often go unrecognized. Every clang of a sword, rustle of foliage, and mystical hum of arcane power in Diablo III was carefully and lovingly crafted. In order to lend some insight as to how these auditory punctuations are put together, we want to share the story behind one of our most iconic sound-driven features: the Treasure Goblin.
The General Process
Behind every monster noise and combat clang, there’s a process. Ordinarily, teams like game design and art will place requests for sound design based on what the game needs. This might be anything from a Legendary power to a new monster and their combat noises. Then begins an experimentation process that’s become more gut instinct than step-by-step procedure for our experienced and well-oiled sound design team.
“We’ve built such trust over the years that we typically just start working on stuff,” Sound Design Supervisor Seph Lawrence says, fondly looking back on the twelve years of work he’s poured into Sanctuary. Different tasks get assigned out to the team of sound designers and each artist takes their own individual initiative to bring the game to life.
Approaches vary widely, but it always begins with taking a look at the clues the rest of the development team has provided. For example, when designing sounds for a monster, it’s best to start with other developed content like story and lore, concept art or 3D models, or combat abilities. In order to narrow in on what details might be needed, the sound team begins to ask questions like, “How big is it? What’s the creature made of? Is it fleshy or made of bone? Does it spew liquid? Is it a watery liquid or more like a goo? What’s its home environment like?” The inquiries can be endless, but sometimes, even they may not be enough, and the artist pulls from their imagination to fill in the blanks.
An enemy looks really different when you think about how it sounds.
From there, a designer can delve into either an exhaustive library of original sound effects to put something together or acquire recordings of relevant sounds. This can be accomplished either by reproducing sound effects in a recording setting, or voice-over for more vocalized needs. Most often, it is a combination of all three; manipulating, layering, and mixing them together to create something new, unique, and memorable.
On Goblins and Gold Piles
While this general process for sound design applies to most of the sounds you hear in Sanctuary, the Treasure Goblin proved to be an entirely different beast. How quickly and serendipitously his sounds came together is what truly makes him special.
The Treasure Goblin was a later addition to Diablo III. When the sound team was presented with his art, there was some trepidation in the need to tackle “yet another bi-pedal monster.” So they asked, “What makes him unique? What is the best detail to hone in on?” Ultimately, the trademark grin on every Goblin’s face revealed a conniving vibe.
The development team was eager to get a placeholder into the game, so Seph took to the recording booth to experiment. “I wasn’t trying to make the final stuff,” he swears, shrugging helplessly. “It just kind of ended up that way.” Through a series of laughs, guttural giggles, and playful exclamations, the core feel for the goblin came together quickly.
The sounds that Seph produced in the recording studio went over to Michael Johnson, who is now also a Sound Design Supervisor. He processed the raw audio, playing with tonality and pitching up Seph’s performance. Ordinarily, for a darker, more horror-oriented game like Diablo, this technique would be avoided as it has a tendency to produce a cartoony result. For some reason, this direction just worked for the Treasure Goblin and the rest of the development team loved it.
The Treasure Goblin was the result of a perfect storm made up of instinct, experimentation, and a lack of fear in the final product. The team didn’t get tied up in perfectionism; they entered the realm of improvisation and riffed until it just felt right. With the emotional response this little guy evokes before he’s even seen on screen, it’s hard to argue with the results.
Leaving Lasting Impressions
Diablo has a very unique sound to it. Senior Sound Designer David Rovin explains that the goal is to be darker and more organic overall. “We avoid things like delay echoes or things that sound particularly ‘sci-fi.’” That said, despite his comical nature, the Treasure Goblin surprisingly fit in well to this auditory aesthetic, introducing a brief moment of humor and whimsy to the otherwise bleak and dark tone of Sanctuary.
What’s your first reaction when you hear a Goblin giggle? Are there any other sounds in Diablo that give you a gut reaction? Tell us your favorites in the comments below and the next time you’re out running bounties or Rifts, open your ears and listen a little more closely to the sounds of Sanctuary.
Patch 2.4.2 PTR Patch Notes
Patch 2.4.2 has hit the Diablo III Public Test Realm and it is time to get a first glimpse at what is coming after the end of Season 6!
A new patch went live in the Public Test Realm last night and it contains some of first changes and additions that we will see in Season 7. The most notable new features and/or changes are:
New Torment difficulties: 11-13 (XI-XIII) Demon Hunter Spike Trap has been significantly buffed. The changes to the Wizard set Firebird's Finery are part of this patch. You can read more about them here. Crusader's Armor of Akkhan is getting buffed. Fist of the Heavens is officially back. Legendary Gem Invigorating Gemstone has been redesigned. New legendary powers for Sledge of Athskeleng, Fletcher's Pride, Scarbringer, Gazing Demise, Starfire. Greater Rift Keys are now guaranteed from any Nephalem Rift and increasing the difficulty now increases your chance of getting a second or third key. Pylons in Nephalem Rifts now have unique minimap icons. You can read the full patch notes here.
A lot of people have commented on the size of Patch 2.4.2. In contrast, Patch 2.4.1 - the patch that introduced Season 6 - was much larger. Perhaps these are not the only features that Blizzard has in store for Season 7; they will probably add more things in the future.
Firebird's Finery Changes, Play Your Way Returns June 23
Play Your Way is back on a bi-weekly schedule. Changes to Firebird's Finery we reported about finally come into existence.
Firebird's Finery Changes
The developer team announced their plans to change Firebird's Finery. Finally we have some details to share.
We've been preparing the changes for Firebird's Finery, and ultimately, we've settled on slightly redesigning the 4-piece and 6-piece bonuses. Here's how they currently read internally (though, as always, these details are subject to change):
(4) Set Bonus Dealing Fire damage with one of your skills causes the enemy to take 1000% weapon damage as Fire for 3 seconds. This effect can be repeated a second and third time by different skills. If an enemy is burning due to three different skills simultaneously the enemy will Ignite, dealing 3000% weapon damage per second until they die (6) Set Bonus Your damage is increased by 100% for each nearby enemy that is Ignited up to a maximum bonus of 2000%. You always receive the maximum bonus whenever a nearby Elite monster is Ignited As you can see, we've definitely gone the way of trying to preserve its play style while approaching it from a slightly different angle. You are still encouraged to light multiple targets on fire, and the more you light up, the more powerful you grow.
It should be noted this will impact some existing builds, like the Firebird's/Chantodo's interaction. We are definitely going to want plenty of player testing and experimentation with the revised set, so expect to see a dedicated Focused Feedback thread when we head to PTR.
We're really looking forward to see your thoughts and testing!
The Return of Play Your Way
Play Your Way is back and players can submit their builds using the updated Play Your Way web form. Play Your Way is moving to a bi-weekly format, so we can expect new updates every other Tuesday.
With the return of Play Your Way, there will be a several changes coming to streamline the process and make the feature a smoother, more manageable beast than before. Between the hundreds of submissions to review and the original weekly schedule, we realized we needed to space things out to provide better content. We also received plenty of feedback about how you’d like to see the Play Your Way experience enhanced and looked at data to determine which aspects you most enjoyed. After a lot of review, experimentation, and tweaking, we’ve put together the final format. Here’s what’s changing:
Updates are coming to the Play Your Way web form to better cover all the important aspects of a build, including Kanai’s Cube Powers and Legendary Gems In the meantime, we ask when submitting your build to use the “additional information” text field to include this information Play Your Way will be moving to a bi-weekly format; this means you can expect regular posts to occur every other Thursday Each feature will include a short gameplay video to highlight the builds and provide a visual look at player creations Play Your Way livestreams will not be returning; while we know plenty of folks enjoyed these short hangouts, many more players enjoy the blogs so we’re focusing our efforts primarily on those. Blogs will be shorter and more to-the-point; less commentary, more statements of fact to get you in game and experimenting as fast as possible We want to know how you play on a day-to-day basis and give you the chance to share your findings with the rest of the community. There are plenty of places on the internet to find the fastest or most efficient build. However, that’s never been the spirit of Play Your Way; we’d much rather give the average hero a chance to show off their creativity and inspire others. We hope to get to explore some amazing, funky, and downright cool gameplay styles together with our community as a result.
So what are you waiting for? Start sending those builds in, and we’ll see you in Sanctuary!