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BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Q&A Panel

blizzcon-2011-d3-qa-panel-1b


My question was about the scaling of AI mechanics on bosses throughout the difficulties. The Skeleton King does sweeping strikes in one direction. He summons some skeletons. Maybe in Hell Difficulty he summons skeletons and boss skeletons or has even more mechanics that make the whole fight extremely difficult — and also can I get a hug Jay Wilson?

Wilson: Give you a hug? Meet me after the panel. We’ve a couple of things that we’ve done, but it’s not as much as we’d like to. We’re in the process of tuning the higher difficulties right now.

That’s one of the things that’s in our list. We’re looking at the higher level bosses, and seeing if there are tweaks and things we can do to their AIs and scripts to make them a little different throughout. Probably only focus on the major bosses that do that, but we’ve kicked it around. I can’t promise anything, but we’d like to.


I was just wondering. I’ve heard a lot of talk about the lesser evils playing a large role in Diablo III. Will Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo come back to play a big role as well?

Martens: The primary villains of the game, we haven’t announced, and we want to stay vague about exactly when you fight them and what exactly are they after.

We talked about that in the Lore Panel about an hour and a half ago. There’s an object called the black soul stone. This is the key to defeating evil forever, and Azmodan knows about it before you do, so does Belial, so they are ahead of you. You’re playing catch up at this point.

The first mystery of the game, which is in the beta is “What is this thing that fell from the sky?” And the beta ends very shortly before you answer that question which is why there’s so much content you need to play there. We don’t want to spoil that.

There’s a major shift in the structure of the world that happen in Diablo III. Some big things are coming, but not in the way that I can be specific as you want me to be to explain it. It’s going to be major stories, but certainly we answer a lot of questions about the Prime Evils and we answer a lot of questions about the Angels, and I think I can say that this game is sort of about the men.

This is the moment where more than anytime in history human beings come together on their own and find their place in the Eternal Conflict — and you, the heroes, are going to decide what that means for humanity. It’s a pretty cool story, and I wish I could tell you guys more but we want you to experience it in the flow of the game.

 

 


First of all, the Pig plays classic rock of course. And success for the hardcore PvP, basically you could have a choice to play Warrior character, like if he loses he won’t die, or you could have them play for each other’s gear. What are you doing for the individuality of the characters like there’s a lot of plans with the enigma in Diablo II, will that happen again?

Wilson: Absolutely. We’re doing a ton of stuff for the individuality. One of the big ones, that we’re excited about is that we put a dye system. We have sixteen different colors and pretty much everything you can wear can be dyed. Every class has at least three class-specific items they can wear — two of which actually affect the visual look; and then — on top of the normal weapon and item art — there are hundreds of unique items that each has their own unique art, many of which are designed to be very memorable Legendary and Unique items like Wind Forces, [?]-Zodiak and Enigma. Although there is nothing as game breaking as Enigma.

Jason Regier: Not to mention the Banner System which also is a great way for you to show off all of your progress in the game and achievements to your friends. You can customize that with different Dyes, and different banner emblems as well.

 

 


My question is about the PvP System in Diablo III. I started playing Diablo II back in 2000. Last seven years of my Diablo II career were leading a major PvP clan on East Server. the Arena is just, it is kinda similar to the online PvP without the Enigmas and the 16-17-18 different bible pvp builds for characters. Are you planning on releasing anything like Enigma or the Synergy system system that actually allowed the many different PvP Balance that Diablo II had? Are you planning any kind of dueling outside the Arena?

Wilson: I’m not sure I completely understand the question, but I guess my answer would be — if you are looking at the PvP gear, and going into PvP with these premade builds — that’s not how it works.

We have to put builds into the game so that people don’t spend 30 minutes building a character. It’s your character, so it has all the build options. We have calculated 8 trillion. There is a massive number of ways that you can build characters. Take on top of that the combination of different characters and their abilities with one another, create a number of variations.

As for Dueling, as we said earlier, we don’t have a way to do that now, and we’re not going to allow people to go hostile within the core game, but we’d like people to be able to do kind of free-form dueling, but whether we get that in for ship or not, we’re not sure at this time. But it’s definitely something we want to do.

 

 


I just spent a lot of money on my computer, and I’m just curious for the lightning effects. I know other games like Dungeon Siege III where the lighting would change depending on your life or mana. Will there be any support for that in Diablo III?

Jason Regier: We wouldn’t rule it out, but we haven’t done anything like that.

 

 

 

 


As we move through Normal to Inferno, will the randomized dungeons be getting larger in size?

Mercer: We don’t currently have plans to do something like that, so I don’t think that would be shipping with the base version of the game, that’s an interesting idea., and we’ve talked about it, but possibly in the future, but not in the initial game.

 

 

 

 


I just wanted to say that I came up from Guam, and this is my first BlizzCon, and it’s awesome and so thank you for all of this. What are your thoughts on class skills that combo off of each other like desintegrate or impenetrable defense making a bounce off in a different direction?

Wilson: We’ve talked about ideas like that in the past, and what we find is that people latch on to one or two skills that they really love. Like the Wizard freezes somebody, and the Demon Hunter smashes it with a particular skill, the Barbarian does more damage, etc. When you sit down and go okay let’s do this across all classes and all the skills, such in a way that it won’t force people to have to take certain builds, we don’t want ever a case where a Barbarian enters and goes “Ohh, your wizard doesn’t have frost nova? — Ok, I don’t wanna play with you because I wouldn’t be able to do more damage”.

When we try to come up with ways to do that across the whole game. We find there’s not a lot of meat there for systems like that. At the end we think that would actually add more negative connotations than positive ones. It’s great in fantasy, but we never figured out a way to do it without actually hurt the game.

 

 


If you beat Diablo II in normal or hardcore mode we get a bonus item. Are you going to implement a PC controller into Diablo III? — just a normal gamepad controller you can buy at Wal-Mart, not the ones from XBox or PS3.

Wilson: We don’t have plans to add bonus items for having completed the previous difficulty games, although that’s not a bad idea — and the latter question, not at release. As the console version continues development, we might consider support for it. There are a lot of control problems to fix. As I mentioned earlier, doing multiple control schemes is a pretty big challenge.

I think we’d only do it if we could pull learning over from our console development, but initially, no, we don’t plan to support that.

 

 


My question is actually a fairly simple one, but one that kinda worries me because I haven’t heard any official word on it, and it could be particularly detrimental to the new experimental builds for classes. Are you actually able to switch around Runes after you have applied them to certain ability, and if cannot — what happens to the Rune afterwards. Does the Rune goes back to your inventory, or is it destroyed and you have to search for a new one?

Wilson: Every systems we have done, you can’t move Runes freely. We might put the same kind of restrictions on switching that we are currently experimenting with on the skill systems, to get more build commitment.

When people go into the world, they feel like they are committed to a specific build because that is where a lot of the interest in creating a new character comes from.

Once you get back to town we don’t really see a need to put this big cost like you pull a Rune out and you destroyed it, or we don’t let you switch things out. Experimentation is part of the fun in Diablo, so we try to retake philosophy of “Let people do as much as we can allow”.

 

 


I was wondering, for the people who are buying the World of Warcraft 12-month Pass and getting Diablo III free, is there an option to get the Collector’s Edition as well? Have you discussed this?

Bridenbecker: That’s a great question. What will actually happen is that if people get the Collector’s Edition, then they will get a four months credit toward that 12-month purchase.

 

 

 

 


In WoW there’s always like a top Tier of gear. In Diablo III how many options are people looking at to have once they reach the very end-game content as far as gear goes?

Wilson: It’s hard to give you a specific number because the gear is randomly generated. In Inferno there are three kinds tiers of gear — that’s definitely the best in class gear, but even a tier down if you get the right rolls you can be better than the tier up.

It kinda depends upon how the item rolls and what specifically you are looking for. In World of Warcraft, a lot of the times, if there’s not a variation in the stats you are looking for — it only really varies depending the type of activities you are doing.

Whereas in Diablo III, depending how you build your character, what skills you choose, and what your playstyle is — there’s a really much broader variety of items that you could probably be interested in.

You can pick up an item that for somebody else it’s one of the best items in the game, but for you even though it’s something that you can wear, it has good stats, you are not interested, because maybe you are in interested in the gear or whatever particular epics is out there.

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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