Diablo 3 Open Q&A
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The Diablo 3 Open Q&A panel at BlizzCon this year was mostly squandered on questions that the devs couldn’t answer or information that we already knew, but some useful tidbits did come to light.
A piece of information that the devs seemed to have leaked was that they are committed to allowing console players to take their PS3 saves to PS4. “We weren’t supposed to say that,” they added.
When Lead Writer Brian Kindregan began talking about “sequential events,” his fellow panelists kept giving him glances — an indication that he was revealing information he shouldn’t have, perhaps? Kindregan explained the sequential events as a chain of optional quests triggered by the completion of one quest. If the first quest in the chain spawns in your game, then you have the opportunity to do the next quest.
Very top tier legendary items and commodities will likely remain account-bound — the devs want to avoid another Diablo 2 Stone of Jordan ring (SoJ) situation, in which an alternate economy starts up because “we didn’t think this through.” In D2, SoJs replaced gold as a currency due to their proliferation from a duping exploit.
Unfortunately, there are no plans to increase stash space. The devs explained that they are trying to find more things for players to do with the items they have — such as through salvaging and enchanting — rather than holding onto those items. Rather than give players more storage space to manage, they want us to make better use of the space we have.
The good news is that the team plans on unifying crafting materials so that materials you obtain early in the game are no longer useless in the late game. Further, white items will salvage into basic crafting materials.
For itemization, the team wanted to steer players away from pursuing “trifecta” gear (items possessing the holy trinity of Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage) by taking a “multi-pronged approach.” By reducing the effectiveness of Life Steal, they hope the overemphasis on maximizing damage will decrease. Rather than take trifecta away from players, they wanted to provide more options. “Instead of just three, what if there were seven to eight options you wanted?”
Weapons will, however, remain the ultimate piece of gear — skills will continue to be powered my weapon damage.
Champion and Elite packs will see greater variety in both their numbers, which may range from two to seven, and composition. For instance, rather than just have “one dude and his Mini-Mes,” we may encounter a skeletal summoner with a small army of skeletal soldiers and archers.
With respect to skills, pets are getting an overall tuning pass to be more effective end-game and in higher difficulties. When the topic of Diablo 2′s Necromancer and his massive army of 15 skeletons arose, the team replied, “We’d rather you have a few less, but more powerful pets for your Witch Doctor, and we can fill the screen with more enemies instead.”
The Wizard’s Critical Mass passive ability will require balancing due to the effect it has on the Frost Nova skill. “We want Frost Nova to still be good,” the team said, “and for you to get a good, long CC out of it, but we don’t want to be in a place where you can perma-stun enemies all the time.”
On the topic of improving PvP, the devs said, “It’s something we’re obviously interested in exploring, but the real challenge is finding a PvP mode that does the core fantasy of Diablo justice.” Incorporating PvE elements may be the key. “As we keep thinking about [PvP], I think that’s part of the solution. Maybe it’s not PvP, but PvEvP.”
Reaper of Souls will not introduce a new follower, but rather add depth to the current followers. Rather than just hear their backstories in conversation, RoS will have their stories progress, develop and evolve in real-time. Players will be able to go on an adventure with their follower and help them develop as a character.
There are no current plans to add 3D functionality to RoS’s PS4 version, which runs at 1080p, but the team did stress that it is a good idea. “That’s a pretty good suggestion,” they said.
When asked about the possibility of having high-level gems drop, rather than only be attainable via crafting, the devs replied, “That’s something that we talk about.” Because of the removal of the AH, they are looking at what this allows them to do with regards to drop balancing.
The devs hope to one day add a “bottomless dungeon” to the game.
No information was revealed about the ladder or the data-mined “Devil’s Hand” game mode.