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BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Transcript

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Fan #5: Hello, not so much of a question, but I just wanted to say — as a hardcore player — I thought death couldn’t get any worse; but that dog… oh my god, thank you!

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Mosqueira: You are welcome.

Fan #6: Hey, how you doing? Hey, Josh! With the removal of the auction house — I know that you talked about this a little bit yesterday; but on a public forum; but with the removal of the auction house, what if any sort of trading model will you or will not put in place to protect people from everything that happens in Sanctuary, not just from evil monsters?

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Mosqueira: So right now we’re still in the process of really figuring out what trading means for Diablo. Obviously, there is a social component that we still want to retain; but at the end of the day, it’s kinda fundamental to our Loot 2.0 philiosophy that we feel that like finding items in-game — like killing monsters — to be the most rewarding, the most satisfying and the best way to get your hands on all items.

Fan # 7: Hey, bosses are always difficult — typically static — just waiting for you to walk in to the room before they start fighting. Have you thought about making them move around in the hallways making people really think about it before they get into a big battle?

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Mosqueira: I don’t know. Jesse, have we?

Maccree: Hello, so in Nephalem Rifts that’s exactly what happens. When a boss spawns, it is in the level with all the monsters; and you have to contend with everything. So if you’re fighting a champion pack when one spawns, and it’s right on your head you’ll have to deal with all of that.

Fan #8: What are your plans for revamping PvP? You have had all of an entire new expansion to do so.

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Mosqueira: So, you know, PvP is something that a week doesn’t go by without Stephen here asking me what we are doing for PvP; and it’s something we’re always talking about and we’re really trying to figure out what is the right way to express PvP. What does it actually mean? How can we make it fun? And it’s something we have hopes for; but for Reaper of Souls the focus has been on the core gameplay loot, the epic heroes against the forces of darkness with the promise of epic loots.

So we started here with the fundamentals. Once we feel like we have those really solid, then we’re going to ask the fun question how we get you guys fighting each other.

Fan #9: Hi, so you guys have added back-peddling monsters. what about keyboard-turning?

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Wong: Are you talking about the inputs and use of the keyboard to control …

Martens: We lost him.

Wong: Alright sorry

Fan #10: Hi, I have a question about what are you gonna be doing about unique items just like the best loots in the game, because right now it seems like you have a lot of items with cool effects; but it seems like the stats just trump any of those effects. So like when I am playing something with a cool effect drops; but it’s like ohh this doesn’t have my primary stats this doesn’t have enough “Crit” so I’m not gonna use it. So what are you gonna do about like giving us items that have cool effects and that are optimal to use, so that we actually want to use them?

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Martens: Okay, so lots of different things actually. So just a few of the things that we’re doing, once again, we’re giving a bunch of examples to make during the gameplay panel, so I’ll answer the question, anyway, but please come tomorrow. You can talk to our item designer in more detail.

So we are narrowing the range of things, so for example if you have a hammer that could roll from 1 to 500 Strength. At the upper tier that’s narrows to 300 – 500. So even if you got the minimum roll still that’s a pretty decent item. The legendary effects on the new legendaries are all somewhat game-changing. We’re trying to give them wacky things they do, that changes perhaps the way you see one of the existing builds — we have a witch doctor mask, for example, that causes 4 or 5% to not just fear monsters, but to root them as well. So you have a major crowd control effect.

If as a witch doctor, you haven’t used Horrify before, you probably gonna want to now. For example, we have a lot of things like that when we’re narrowing it for smart dropping it so your primary stats for your character class is more likely to be rolled; and so on and so on. There’s probably 3 or 4 more smart drop system we’re gonna talk about tomorrow.

Fan #11: Hello, everyone. Thanks for such fantastic game. My question is at the beginning of the first Act there are so many of these side dungeons that add variety to the game, but then it tappers off at the end of the game. Like you ran out of development time or whatever happened, is there anything that you’re going to do to add more of those in; or do you have any additional plans for the first four Acts of the game.

Martens: Ok, so basically the question was as you get towards Act 3 and 4 the amount of side dungeons density lowers? That’s for a couple of reasons. At the end, specially in Act 4, we really feel that players at that point — after the big reveal — they just wanna get to Diablo.

So it became a little bit narrow and centered apparently, but we recognized that that’s an issue; and that’s actually when Adventure Modes comes in. When we talked about earlier that people were playing the game over and over again — part of it was, you had a goal you wanted to kill Diablo in your current difficulty level, that was actually encouraging you not to bother with the side dungeons; because that slows you down to getting to your goal ultimately to Diablo and Inferno.

With removing that requirement and making the side dungeons bounties we take in everything every nook and cranny in the game; so we can give you occasionally a good reason to go there to increase the variety, so all the side dungeons we do have — now happen in a much more varied order.

So yeah when you’re in heaven, and you have few bounties to do there, we’re gonna make sure you see some side dungeons there; and we’re gonna send you to other acts to do other things. So I think that we would be addressing your concern really well with adventure mode.

Microphone-holder: We’re at about our time so… last question,

Fan: 12: Firstly, thank you guys for such hard work and for making an amazing game. My question is more on the architecture maybe with the always on for Hardcore. I lost a few characters personally to little bit of light spikes, or hardcore just times out. Is there any architecture improvements possibly coming that will help, next thing a little help with rubberbanding, but can we expect anything else with this theme Always-On and connected and possibly losing characters that way?

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Martens: Yeah, we’re constantly looking at those situations on a regular basis. We are adding server capacity in different regions. Yeah, we’re conscious about that, and we’re doing everything we can to solve issues like that.

Alright, thank you guys! See you guys tomorrow at the panel.

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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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