Diablo 3 Won’t Have Town Portals… Or Will It?

During last year’s Gamescom, we learned that town portals were officially being nixed from Diablo 3. The “instant portal to safety” that no player left town without was too easy to abuse. I recall fighting Duriel, the Act II boss in Diablo 2, by hitting him a couple times, opening a portal back to town to heal after being struck once, and repeating until the ugly slug-with-claws was dead. Yes, it took forever, and yes, it was boring, but the game mechanics allowed it to be done.

Because that is not the type of gameplay Blizzard wanted to encourage for Diablo 3, removing town portals seemed like a smart move. Like a drug addict facing an intervention, I was initially opposed to the idea, but deep down, I knew it was for the best.

However, Bashiok, the Diablo 3 community manager, has made a recent forum post that may indicate some incarnation of town portals will return.

We’ve always been trying to see if we can create a better system than town portals, making waypoints the main travel back to town mechanic. But, it’s looking like it’s just simply more fun and a quality-of-life-nicety to be able to jump back to town from anywhere even if waypoints are all over the place. Plus it’s not really that hard to avoid the few pitfalls that TPs in Diablo II had.

One can’t say that the convenience of town portals was detrimental to Diablo 2 — how often did we teleport back to town to sell our precious loot and make room for more of the shiny stuff that kept us clicking away into the wee hours of the morning? Bashiok seems to be hinting that the developers are working on a way to capture the convenience of town portals while avoiding their abusive nature.

With closed betas around the corner, we may get a concrete answer in the near future.

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