9.30am : First things first, I am sorry that I missed the start. I had full intentions of blogging the beginning of Blizzcon… and let’s just say the worst thing that I can imagine happening last night happened, which led to all sorts of nasty stuff (yes, I know I am being vague, sorry). My coverage will probably be spotty because people do not want to leave me alone! Doesn’t bother me, but it makes it hard to keep up.
Anyway, so I am coming to you from half way through instead. Currently they are talking about SCII, and I am afraid my Starcraft knowledge is limited at best (seeing as, shock horror, I didn’t really play it). The cinematics looked REALLY nice, and everyone was excited about Kerrigan.
10am: Alex (Missed the last name, please don’t shoot me!): Wrath
Phasing: "It has definitely made things possible that weren’t previously possible. However, there is the danger of phasing as well" – can be confusing with grouping, if you are in different phases.
World Bosses in Northrend: No plans for World Bosses, simply because of the issues with PvP, killing rights, debuffs, etc.
World event for Patch: A Very Big World Event (very vague), Northrend will be opened up with this event.
10.16: Chris Metzen: SCII
SCII allows them to really dig into the character of Kerrigan through the story mode.
10.30: Recap of what I missed!
Mike Morhaine announced Wizard class for D3 (Might make me actually play it! hehe)
‘Is there going to be a secret cow level?’ ‘That’s a secret!’
Mage QQ: How are you going to make Mages a viable class to play (only used for tables and portals, cooks getting a table, only good ability is Mirror Image)?
‘They’ll be able to bring a respec table – problem solved’ Hehehe.
10.30: D3 gameplay panel: Jay Wilson and Wyatt Cheng
Again, this will be kinda weird, I have played some Diablo, but not enough to feel comfortable making commentary on what is happening. Looks promising to me, simply because they are making Battle.net better, and it sounds very ‘non-gamer’ friendly.
General Game Design Philosophy
Looking for ways to expand and improve Diablo in D3.
D2 took a lot of ideas and really blew them out of the water.
D3 Design Goals:
- Stay true to the Diablo experience
– Amazing moment to moment action – a very visceral game
– Expanded RPG experience – An action RPG, the focus is heavily on the action, but they want to take the action to new places
Spirit of Diablo:
– Powerful heroes engaged in epic large scale combat: A key goal
– Approachable gameplay, cooperative focus: doesn’t mean they don’t want a single player game, or that there isn’t a single player game, but want a game where people can jump in and out and work together.
– Replayability – randomness (random environments, monster encounters, generated items, adventures), Higher Difficulty levels
Large Scale Combat – as many monsters as possible on the screen, then heroes to pound them into the dirt.
– Want a balanced game, don’t want to throw balance out.
– Strong and Unique Archetypes: a small number of unique and identifiable classes.
Things that had to be done better from D2
If you can click a mouse, you can play Diablo. Simple to learn but deep, smooth difficulty curve.
Working on new version of Battle.net which is removing as many barriers as possible from people playing and communicating with each other.
More than just attacking – escape skills, control skills, without having a million buttons.
New Health System.
Monsters: new attacks, creatures which die easily and others which do not through the use of shields, creating unique systems.
They also worked on improving story, the player can get a feel for what’s going on but they have added a lot more depth and context for the players who love the story line.
Events that can be placed almost everywhere. Things which have been added to any terrain, allowing scripted content in the randomness of the game.
1. Is there still going to be a hardcore mode? – Almost definitely.
2. One of the biggest frustrations I had when playing a character is that there talents are set. Is there a way we can have talent respecs? – Definitely want to have a talent respec system.
3. How do you see the economy panning out? – In D2 the abundance of gold did mess with the economy, and items became worth more than the gold you could have (capped), creating a barter economy. Being talking with people from WoW about their economy, about what works and what doesn’t, and taking those ideas. Big emphasis on gold.
4. Just wondering what sort of PvP aspects you would have – competitive play is something Diablo hasn’t moved quite up to yet. In the core game, they don’t want anything that’s not mutual. However, there is a group that want to kill each other whenever they want. No solution yet, want to find one.
5. A lot of players get attached to their players that they build up. At end game there are abilities or immunities which monsters have which means they can’t kill them. How will you deal with that? – Diablo is about focusing on making one or two abilities as strong as they can be. Trying to make sure that each class has more than one ability – A wizard may have great electric attacks, but also missiles.
6. In D2, when a monster died it was a free for all scramble to get the loot. Have you fixed that? – Loot now drops on a per player basis for everyone. You can drop items on the ground and other players can pick them up.
7. Is the magic find system going to be completely changed? It was very frustrating – Sounds like magic find will still be there, but also other ways to find abilities.
8. Would there be an achievement for doing something like completing the game on hell mode? – Sounds cool, sounds like us, don’t know yet
9. How many players are you shooting for this time in co-op? *frozen* Well, my TV has frozen up. Dang.