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Diablo 3 developer admits multiplayer “can often feel not worth the effort”


While discussing the upcoming changes patch 1.08 will bring to Diablo 3, senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng explained the current problems with the game’s multiplayer, as Blizzard sees them:

“[f]rom day one, it’s been our goal to make Diablo III a great co-op experience, but right now it’s not living up to its full potential. Even if you enjoy playing with your friends, it can often feel easier and more efficient to play solo […] given the downsides it can often feel not worth the effort.”

In the blog post where Cheng expresses his disappointment with the current state of Diablo 3’s multiplayer he talks about how patch 1.08 should start to remedy the issues. They’re all pretty neat and practical:

  • Matchmaking tags – these are tags that you can assign to public game sessions so that when players search for games they can specify what sort of dungeoning they’re looking for (Questing, Full Act Clear, Keywarden, and PvP).

  • Multiplayer bonuses – For each extra player in your game you’ll recieve a 10% bonus to XP, gold find, and magic find. That right there should be enough to convince most people to buddy up.

  • Monster health – the buff to health monsters receive in multiplayer games is being reduced from 70% per additional player to 50%. So it shouldn’t be quite so challenging when playing with friends.

  • Identify all – a button that lets you indentify all unidentified items in your inventory (Can anyone explain why, at this point, they don’t just take out unidentified items?).

  • Archon kills – “For the Wizards out there, many of you don’t play multiplayer because you need those kills to fuel your Archon. In 1.0.8, your Archon duration will also be extended by assists, so as long as you’re around when a monster dies, your Archon duration will be extended”

  • Combat alerts – these automatic alerts will tell everyone in a party when a player is under attack from an elite pack or has started fighting a treasure goblin.

  • Players near you – tells you when there are other players on your network and makes it easier to set up games with them.

  • private chat – in-game IM, essentially

They’re a good set of changes and ones that sound as though they’ll make the game much more comfortable once implemented.

We just don’t know when that will be, yet.