Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III: Gameplay Systems and Crusader panel. Your panelists are: Josh Mosqueira (game director), Kevin Martens (lead game designer), Paul David (senior artist), Nicholas Chilano (lead animator), Andrew Chambers (senior game designer), Nicholas Eberle (senior technical artist), Wyatt Cheng (senior technical game designer), Travis Day (game designer), and Steve Shimizu (lead gameplay programmer).
Mosqueira: Good morning Blizzcon, How you guys doing?
[People scream with happiness]
I brought the whole gang with me today, because there is a lot of you guys out there. I mean I have lot of really cool things for your guys today. So what are we covering today? This is the gameplay panel.
So yesterday we talked a lot about some of the big new features that you are gonna expect with Reaper of Soul’s adventure mode . But today we are doing a deep dive on the few of the very core things that are at the heart of Diablo.
And those start with epic heroes. So the guys here are gonna talk to you guys about “The Crusader”. Our knight in battlestar armor. What was our process behind, how we come with his skills, his look and how we are fulfilling that fantasy. But “The Crusader” may be the star of Reaper Souls but all of the five classes are getting brand new skills. And why here we are gonna talk to you guys about what you are gonna expect.
[People cheering with joy]
You guys are also gonna learn which of the five classes is Wyatt’s favorite. So, but why do we play Diablo III? Loot, right? At the heart of the Diablo experience is killing monsters and finding those awesome legendaries. And for us, the big focus on the expansion has been Loot 2.O. And we’ll show you guys what you guys have in store in terms of Loot 2.0. How we drop being fewer better and more epic legendaries.
So let’s get started, and we have Kevin Martens, our lead game designer come up here and talk to you guys about “The Crusader”.
Martens: Good morning, so nothing, there is not a single thing in the game that is bigger and more complex that a class for us. So, you are the hero that has the last chance to stop death from wiping out all of humanity, and we have to take that very seriously.
Josh has this philosophy about expansions, where he want the setting, the hero and the villain, to match up very well, since these are inherently more self-constrained than the larger game. Those things should be a great trifecta.
So “The Crusader” was a great choice to balance against someone like Malthael. So who is “The Crusader”? When we set out to make a class, we have a few different questions, we have to ask ourselves. And one of the most important one is sort of “where do they fit in that story?”, “where do they fit in the world of sanctuary?”, and this is pretty straight forward.
We have this vague idea, and most classes starts with a very vague idea that, “Hey, we kind a like paladin!” “Could we bring something like that forward?” — and when we put through that filter, what Josh talked about, matching the villain better, better we talked about maybe having a dark paladin. In that handful of words. Eventually it turned into something much grander.
Cheng: As we sat down to look at those classes and what changes we wanted to make, the team really believes in focusing on the fantasy. What that means is that every class represents a classical strong fantasy archetype, and any changes that we make should play into that fantasy and reinforce it .
We went over all of the existing skills and runes, as well as every class in “Reaper of Souls” is going to get a new skills.
I am gonna take you through all five classes, and we will highlight what their new skills are going to be. Let’s go ahead and get started with my favorite class “The Barbarian”.
Cheng: The Barbarian exhibits physical strength. Obviously, unlike The Crusader who is heavily armored, “The Barbarian” focuses on his connection to the ancients, his physical strength. We have a theme of earth and might coming through. Earth and might refers to his ability to use boulders, or rocks, or cause seismic activity.
This is exhibiting skills like seismic slam and earthquake. Of course, we feel some skills, those skills seismic, earthquake weren’t quite performing as well as they were, so they are getting some huge buffs in “Reaper of Souls”. And his new skill is called Avalanche.
Avalanche will allow him to let out a huge roar and call down a huge pile of rock and debris to fall from above. Here is the video of what that looks like.
Avalanche is currently on a 30 sec cool down and internal build, but the way we have it setup is that more fury that you spend it reduces the cooldown on the skill. So if you have a build that spends a lot of fury, you can actually use avalanche more often.
Cheng: Up next is my favorite class: “The Wizard”. The Wizard is a powerful range caster. We all know this is a really strong fantasy archetype, that’s been around for years. Decades. A lot of people wanna to play “The Wizard” as glass cannon.
Clearly an elementalist. You probably know in the live game there are elements like frost, and lighting, and fire, and arcane. Off course arcane gets a little more attention and fire lighting and cold could serve to be played up a little bit more. And that’s one of our focuses for “The Wizard” in the “Reaper of Souls”. If you want to play a fire, frost or lighting elementalist wizard… now you can.
We are looking a lot at the existing skills like Spectral Blade and Magic Missile. Magic missile is getting a rune variant that will actually allow to do cold damage. And as we are looking at arcane orb, it gave us an opportunity to pay a homage to one of my favorite Diablo II skills. Diablo II — you have the Frozen Orb …
And here is what it looks like in Diablo III. But as promised every class is also getting a new skill. And The Wizard’s new skill is called: Blackhole.
Blackhole pulls in all the monsters, crowd controls (CCs) them, and deals a huge amount of damage in that targeted area. This really allows you to play up that fantasy of being a glass cannon.
You can use crowd control skills and still dish out a lot of damage. And nothing sets up the perfect meteor better than Blackhole. Yeah!