BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Gameplay Systems + Crusader Panel Transcript
Cheng: Let’s talk about my favorite class: “The Monk”. The Monk is a martial artist. Unlike The Crusader (who is heavily armored), and The Barbarian (who is physically strong), The Monk’s core fantasy is to be fast and agile.
He also incorporates elemental. He is an elemental-bender. He integrates fire and lighting, but of course what we really want to play up is the scene of mobility.
The Monk should be the fastest character on the battlefield. This isn’t quite played up as well as we wanted to on the live game. So on the expansion, we are making changes to the skills like Fist of Thunder.
Thunder Clap, is the most popular rune on live, and one of the reasons is: because it incorporates a teleport into its ability. So I am happy to say that all rune variants of Fist of Thunder will be teleporting you directly to your opponents.
We are also looking at skills like Dashing Strike, which was really kidded to fill that fantasy of the fast monk, before a number of mechanical issues, wasn’t used as much as we like. So we are reworking its mechanics. One of our goals although we do not want you to be able to teleport indefinitely, we definitely want so that I if click on an empty location I should just go there. And, of course we are gonna be looking at Seven-Sided Stike — which is another key skill that makes you feel like you are fast and teleporting all over, and his new skill is called: Epiphany.
Epiphany… once activated allows all of your melee attacks to teleport you directly to your target. Take a look of that.
These are some normal melee attacks, and here I am, I pop Epiphany and everything I do, takes me straight to my opponent. Doesn’t matter if you are casting Lashing Tail Kick, Wave of Light, Deadly Reach, no one can get away from you . Every ability you do teleports you directly into your opponent’s face.
Cheng: Oh, my favorite class “The Demon Hunter”. The Demon Hunter’s fantasies are clear: ranged weaponry, a deadly assassin, using shadow energy and traps. One of the fantasies of this trap, you know, “The Demon Hunter”, wasn’t played up as well as we thought, skills like Spike Trap, get used more as ranged damage dealers than a Trap. So we are looking at skills like Spike Trap and Sentry.
We really want players to be able to play the way… “Hey, you know what, I wanna setup a little you know, my home, my nest and lure enemies into it; and have them all you know mercilessly die”; but in the end of the day “The Demon Hunter” is a ranged class, and her new skill will play into that.
The Demon Hunters are getting a skill called: Vengeance — which allows every single attack you do, to fire off even more ranged weaponry. Let’s see what that looks like. I pop vengeance and now every attack I do fires additional shots. You got railguns out the side, rocket’s coming out of all directions. Pew, pew, pew!
Cheng: Last but not least, my favorite class “The Witch Doctor.” Witch Doctor, his esthetic and theme is really, really strong. He has got zombies and the fetishes. We are really happy actually with the way the esthetic of the Witch Doctor plays out on live.
But unfortunately, although the esthetic is strong, his mojo, the mechanics aren’t all there. In particular one of the fantasies of playing a witch doctor is to be a dark class or pet class, and although the pets will tank with you, they don’t do enough damage, and a little bit of dots are there, but they are not worth using.
And we wanted his new skills to play into many different play styles. So for inspiration we drew upon Diablo II‘s amplified damage. Amplified damage is a great Utility Skill, but it’s not super flavorful. It’s a great mechanic, but that’s not a cool esthetic to go for it. And we have to pair those up.
So I was talking to one of our lead technical artists: Julian Love, and he was saying you know, he’s got always cool creatures like the bats and the frogs. I mean … when it comes to voodoo creatures, how far can we push this? Can we do piranhas? Oh, yes we can!
You can actually see the piranhas stuck to the monster as a visual indicator. It is not just awesome to look at. It let’s you know that’s a monster affected by the amplified damage effect. That monster is going to take more damage from all sources. Of course, this begs the question: “What lie’s below the surface of the water?”
You guys wanna see that again? Yeah!!, nom nomm, so good, so good.
Note: A massive crocodile swallows a targeted monster.
Cheng: So, let’s talk about items. One of the requests we got a lot for items is the way to modify the items that you find. So the new artisan in the Reaper of the Souls is “The Mystic”, which will allow you to do exactly that.
The Mystic allows you to modify any item that you find in one of two ways, you can either change the way it looks; and you can change the property on an item.
Transmogrify allows you to take “The Crusaders” look like this , and look like that.
And then Enchanting allows you to choose any property on an item that you don’t want and ask The Mystic to re-roll it.
She will offer you three new randomly generated properties for you to choose from, and for gold and a reagent cost you can repeat that process as many times as you want. The enchanting process also works on end-game legendaries, because we wanna make sure that it acts in an effective gold and item sink for the end-game.
Here is the video of that. Like I said you take an item and you hand it to The Mystic. The Mystic will present you with a choice of properties that you want. I should mention that one of three properties is actually the original property in the item, so you can never make the item worst, you can always fall back in the property that was there before. And like I said, you can go ahead and do the enchanting process as many times as you want.
And to talk more about items I’d like to bring up our legendary game designer Travis Day.