New Diablo Joe Shely Q&A Summary

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Joe Shely Q&A Summary

Here's a summary of today's developer Q&A stream with Senior Game Designer Joe Shely. Keep in mind that these aren't exact quotes, but merely shortened versions of the questions and answers.
Sadly, there isn't a whole lot of new information in here: The PTR will see additional changes to the Wrath of the Wastes Set and Greater Rifts, and we'll get the S8 ending announcement "very soon".
If you want to watch the VoD, you can do so on Facebook.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Q&A Stream)

How will the move to 64-bit enhance our gameplay experience?
There will be faster load times and graphical improvements with DX11. This will ship with patch 2.4.3 and is on PTR now.
Are you happy with the Paragon system or do you think it needs to be reworked?

Paragon is an alternate progression track, allowing many players to keep gaining power. For ultra-competitive players who want an even playing field, Challenge Rifts will allow you to have just that. [You can read more about Challenge Rifts in our BlizzCon recap]

Are there plans to rework Wrath of the Wastes?

We want to increase its power. Additional changes to that end will come to the PTR soon. The tornadoes should remain a meaningful part of the playstyle, but they were too impactfull before. We're aiming for about 40% of your damage coming from the tornadoes and 60% from Whirlwind itself.

During the BlizzCon announcement, the Necromancer themes mentioned did not include Poison. What about that?

The main themes are Blood and Decay and we can build interesting gameplay around them. Poison will probably only be on Runes to differentiate the Necro from the Witch Doctor more.

Will PS4 and XBox One get the Anniversary patch at the same time as PC?

Yes. Also, Seasons will be coming to consoles in the future.

On Saffron Wrap: Most Legendaries need Set synergy to be worth using. Any plans to add Overpower to a Set?

We talked about adding it to Wrath of the Wastes, but decided against it. We'll see how Saffron Wrap turns out on live and evaluate from there. Let us know how it feels.

Group play is more rewarding than solo play, can you reduce the disparity there?

We look at this very carefully. We want to make solo play more fun when doing Bounties and are experimenting with that right now.

Do you have plans to rework Akkhan's?

We added a 7th piece on the PTR and want to see what new builds players can make with the new flexibility before any further reworks.

Are there plans to add more Achievements?

The Necromancer patch will come with its own set of class Achievements.

Some Sets vastly outperform others (like Firebird's). How do you feel about this and what kind of changes can we expect?

We don't want players to log in weaker after a patch, so we're very carefully about nerfing Sets. In 2.4.3 we buffed some of the weaker Sets to address the issue. We plan to continue monitoring that and adjust to provide more variety in playstyles.

Are there plans to overhaul and improve the skill system?

We wouldn't fundamentally change such an important system on a live game. The flexibility of our system allows us to make wild Legendaries which anyone can immediately try out.

Can we get a new Transmog Set for Seasonal rewards?

Transmog Sets are cool. We will do new cosmetics for Season 9, like Portrait Frames.

Can we get info on the timeline for Season 8 ending and 9 starting?

We will announce more information on when S8 ends very soon. S9 will start shortly after S8 ends, somewhere around release of patch 2.4.3.

Will there be an alternative end game that can compete with Greater Rifts?

We see Seasons as a way to engage with the game over a long time, keeping the game fresh. That is a form of end game. If you want to absolutely max out your character, Greater Rifts are your way to go. Challenge Rifts will provide an additional way to compete.

Are there plans to lessen the dominance of Wizards' Archon skill?

We agree that Archon is a bit too dominant. Delsere's doesn't use Archon and we buffed it with 2.4.3.

Why don't CMs and developers interact more with community members and posters?

We're experimenting with different ways of communicating right now, since forum posts are only seen by a small portion of the community. This live stream is one of those new ways, just like Twitch and Youtube. We won't abandon one form if others work better. We are here and are listening, the developers are reading the forums. For example, there will be additional Greater Rift tweaks coming to PTR as a result of your feedback on the forums.

What kinds of things does a Diablo team want for Christmas?

Wyatt: Some snow in Irvine.

Brandy: No snow in Irvine!

Someone else: Butterfly Wings.

Joe: An Ancient Witching Hour for my UE build.

Thank you for submitting questions and happy holidays!