The team acknowledged that they missed the mark with this update. They have a vision for the direction they want to take the game, but recognize that the way they introduced some changes was a step in the wrong direction.
They have some upcoming changes that they hope to right the ship with, and larger plans down the line to make bigger changes to the underlying system to improve the game.
In the future they promise to A) be better about communication prior to and surrounding big changes B) introduce buffs with nerfs to prevent simple power reduction and instead improve build options and viability.
A hotfix will go out later today to "improve nightmare dungeons". They discussed both reducing the power scaling (so that tier 100 is more like tier 70) as well as increasing monster density in nightmare dungeons and helltides. The monster density might not be live until patch 1.1.1.
Patch 1.1.1 should come out "in the next couple weeks". They will have another fireside chat next Friday, and it sounds like the patch will release sometime the following week. This includes:
- Sorcerer and Barbarian adjustments (improve underutilized legendary powers and items, also mentioned class "updates")
- Add another stash tab
- Increase Elixir stack size to 99
- Reduce respec costs by ~40%
- Performance improvements with regards to player skills (to counteract monster density improvements)
- Increased monster density? (unclear if patch 1.1.1 or hotfix)
They also noted that additional patches will be pushed during season 1.
- Want to make leveling from 50-100 faster by adjusting XP (unclear if 1.1.1, later season 1 patch, or "future")
They mentioned a couple things that will definitely be coming in season 2 or 3. Some of these changes include the following:
- Reworking resistances (Season 2)
- Gem "changes" (dedicated gem tab?) (Season 2)
- More end game content (Season 2)
- Leaderboards paired with a new competitive content type (Season 3)
- New endgame content type, "chase" content to challenge builds
- Further reworking vulnerability damage so that it won't be mandatory, but instead a build option
- Further improvement to stash and storage (including aspect storage)
- Uber uniques will still be "very very" rare but will be "a little more common" in future seasons
- Crowd control: Adjustments to things that seem unfair, adjustment to your "tools" (kit) to handle them. They agree that it's a problem.
- Loadouts: No timeline, but UI team is actively talking about it
- UI improvements for item comparison ("things like loot filters")
- Improve item progression through ancestral tier
- Plans for Unique item and Aspect target farming
- Tweaks to creatures that kill often (explode when dying, charging) and certain nightmare affixes
- Conversations around improving codex, "is storing aspect rolls fun?"
- Taking in feedback around wanting more legendaries per season, will adjust accordingly
- Plans to better utilize campaign bosses/bring back bosses (more opportunities to fight them)
- Working on fixes to console crashing and memory leaks (they requested more bug submissions please, as much detail as possible)
- Plans to add more options for modifying gear & items
- Plans for improved Necromancer minion survivability
- Considering exploring expanding druid companions
- More loot goblin types and improved drops in the future
They pointed out some of these "future changes" may come in season 1, just nothing confirmed.
Admission of Fault
They recognized that balance changes shouldn't come at the cost of player enjoyment. They acknowledge that instead of just focusing on the end goal of where they want to be and making incremental changes toward that, they need to also consider the moment to moment of each phase of change and how that experience will be. If it is not fun along they way, they are not fulfilling their obligation to the players.
"Ultimately what we're trying to do is make the game more fun for players. The players are at the heart of everything we are doing, and if the game is not more fun for players and if players can't believe that as the game evolves it will get more fun, then we're not accomplishing our goals." - Joe Shely
They intended reduction of nightmare dungeons to pair with the nerfs, but the nerfs went out first. They acknowledge that was the wrong way to do it and they will not release "mostly nerf only" patches in the future.
Additional Discussion of Future Vision
One of their main goals is "choice" (aka build diversity). They talked about things like vulnerable damage multiplicative stacking, and their desire to improve this system to make it not mandatory, but to fix the underlying system is a major change.
Quote from slide:
"When making changes to increase build diversity, let some builds be overpowered until we provided compelling alternatives."
Meaning in the future any time they nerf overpowered builds they will also provide buffs to alternative builds. Large meta shifts will occur at predictable times (like the start of seasons). They will provide patch notes or provide more detail in campfires for patches ahead of time and improve communication.
"We are not trying to slow down the game."