BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Gameplay Systems + Crusader Panel Transcript
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 than 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 wants 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 ones 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 big idea, and most classes start with a very big idea that, “Hey, we kind a like paladin!” “Could we bring something like that forward?” — and then when we put it through that filter, what Josh talked about, matching the villain better, better we talked about maybe having a dark paladin. Eventually it turned into something much grander.
We also had this idea that we wanted to broaden the horizons of Sanctuary to make the world bigger and having this class as well, so we took a lot of the things we love about the Paladin and we did a lot of new things and that’s where the Crusader came from.
The Crusader and the Paladin order are tied together. When the Paladin order was first founded, Rakkis — who became the first king of Westmarch — led the Crusaders west on a grand crusade, bringing the Zakarum faith by fire and sword.
Meanwhile, the Crusaders — the elite force of the Paladins went east on a secret mission. Now that the star has fallen, and the dead have risen; and Diablo came back to Sanctuary and Malthael has arrived on Sanctuary the Crusader has come back west to solve these problems.
He is a member of the Zakarum faith but he has never been corrupted. They have never given up their crusade, and they are going to solve this problem. It is a proper hero for humanity in this darkest hour.
So the ideas really are very simple when we started off, and again we have mentioned it before they are very big. So to sort out if we have the knight in shining armor — the Paladin to have this knight in battle-scarred armor… to make it sort of … it’s not just darker, it’s more appropriate to the times.
If someone lives in eternal warfare, that’s kinda where the Crusader came from. We also had this idea of righteous wrath, and when you see this word watch out how this influences all the skills, the weapons, the armor, the looks that we are about to show you guys as we do a deep dive into this class.
That concept, it took a lot of life on the team and you are going to see those words “Rightheous Wrath” show up again and again. And essentially this is scourging evil. Humanity has had enough. They’re tired of being caught in the middle, and the Crusaders are going to stop this once and for all.
And then this is the core of tactical concept, so if we have this idea where they fit in the story, we had this fantasy of this knight in battle-scarred armor who has lived in eternal warfare powered by wrath. The War Machine Made Human answers the final question about classes, which is where do they fit in the tactical toolkit.
We knew we wanted a heavily armored character. We knew we wanted a character who is melee heavy; but we also wanted to standout from the Barbarian and the Monk.
So this concept, you are again going to watch this idea — if we took like a medieval battlefield engine, if we took a modern one like a tank — how can we turn that into something that you can actually play here today in the show-floor?
So to start that process off, this mid-range melee character, Paul David is gonna take those ideas and show you how the art process begins so that we get the Crusader you know and see.