Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A Full Transcript – BlizzCon 2013


Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A

This evening’s Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A was pretty interesting and outlined many of the new features coming to the game. At the end of the session the usual public Q&A session took place and there were some decent questions answered. There were also a few questions that shot over the heads of the devs. I do pity the poor guy who attempted some kind of a keyboard joke question, I swear I saw a tumbleweed roll past on the floor.

With the closure of the auction house and everybody buying and selling gold, what are you plan on doing to effect the flood of gold that’s going to come onto the market just before the auction house closes?

We have a number of new gold sinks coming and the gameplay panel tomorrow is going to go into them very specifically. One of the big ones is enchanting , Transmogrify is not a major gold sink, but enchanting is the system that allows you to re-roll the stat on your item to make it better for yourself. That’s a  smart drop goal as well so it’s very likely to be good for your character and you can see all the potential things you can roll. So that’s a major thing. We’ve got new and better blacksmith recipes coming, also smart drops so when they do roll they’re much more likely to be better.

Those are just a couple of the features for gold sink so we do intend find ways to get some gold out of the economy. We don’t want to have to make it so that if you’re not one of the people with 40 billion gold you can’t participate it that. People with 40 billion will pull the slot machine a little more often. Ultimately gold is not going to be as big of a delta factor for character power as it has been for when the auction house was live.

If case you missed it, read on for the full transcript  after the break.

What’s going on with the ladders?

Ladders are awesome to climb, they have rungs and the whole point is to get to the top right? Stay tuned.

Are all the previous areas going to be designed like the maps you brought up prior (Adventure Mode)?

All acts will be available through adventure mode so every act is going to have a map just like the one you saw for act 3. All the waypoints will be opened up so you can just bounce around.

When you guys get into Nephalim Rifts, that’s really where we go full throttle in the randomisations. The layouts are going to be totally different.

I really enjoy the game but I have one issue, no offline mode. When are we going to get it?

When we decided to designed Diablo 3, we feel, and seeing all you out here, Diablo plays best when you;re playing with your friends. When you have access to this aesome community that is Blizzard. This is why we have BlizzCon. We felt is was really important we have that social connection. for you to be able to have access to your friends list. It also alloed us to make sure you characters were stored. It was important for us to satisfy that social aspect of the game.

In fact we’re adding more multiplayer features, groups and clans were teased in the trailer there so those are coming as well. That’s a feature that being online makes it even better. Even more so than the rich join and drop co-op that’s already out there.

With the removal of the auction house, what if any sort of sanctioned trading model will you put in, or not put in to protect people from everything that happens in Sanctuary and not just Evil monsters.

Right now we are still in the process in figuring out what trading means for Diablo. There is a social component that we still but want to retain, but at the end of the day it’s kind of fundamental to our loot 2.0 philosophy. We feel that finding items in-game  by killing monsters should be the most rewarding, most satisfying and the best way to gets your hands on those items.

Bosses are typically static waiting for you to walk into the room before they start fighting. Have you thought about having them move around in the hallways, making people think about it before they get into a big battle?

In Nephalim Rifts, that’s exactly what happens. When a boss spawns, it is in the level with all the monsters, you have to contend with everything, so it you’re fighting a champion pack when one spawns and he’s right on your head, you have to deal with all of that.

What are your plans for revamping PvP?

A week doesn’t go by without Stephen here asking me what are we doing for PvP. It’s something we’re always talking about and we’re really trying to figure out what is the right way to express PvP. What does it actually mean, how can we make it fun. It’s something we have hopes for but for Reaper of Souls the focus has been on the core gameplay loot, the epic heroes against the forces of darkness and the promise of epic loot. So we’re starting with the fundamentals. Once we feel we have those really solid then we can start asking the fun question on how we get you guys fighting each other.

What are you going to be doing about unique items, right now it seems like you have a lot of items with cool effects bit the stats just trump any of those effects. what are you doing about items that have cool effects but are also optimal to use so that we actually want to use them?

Lots of different things. We’ll be hiving examples tomorrow at the gameplay panel. We are narrowing the range on things so, for example if you can have a could roll 1-500 strength, at the upper tier that’s narrowed to 300-500. So even if you got the minimum roll it’s still a pretty decent item. The legendary effects on the new legenadaries are somewhat game changing. We;re trying to give them whacky things they do  that changes the way you play one of your existing builds.

We have Witch Doctor mask for example that causes horrify to not just fear monsters but to root them as well so you get a major crowd control effect. If as a Witch Doctor you haven’t used Horrrify before, you’re probably going to want to now. We a have a lot of things like that, we;re smart dropping it so your primary stats for your character class that finds the item is much more likely to be rolled, and so on. There’s probably 3 or 4 other smart drop systems we can talk about tomorrow.

The side dungeons at the start of the game taper off towards the end of the game, are you going to add more of those in or do you have any additional plans to freshen up the first four acts?

The density lowers for a couple of reasons, especially in act 4, we really feel at that point after the bog reveal they just want to get to Diablo so it became a little more narrowed and centered but we recognise that it;s an issue and that is where adventure mode  comes in. When we talked about that people were playing th game over and over again, part oif it was that you had that goal. You wanted to kill Diablo on your current difficulty level, that was actually encouraging you not to bother with the side dungeons  because that slowed you down to getting to your goal of Diablo and ultimately Inferno.

With removing that requirement and making these side dungeon Bounties, we’ve taken every nook and cranny in the game and give you occasionally a good reason to go there to increase the variety so al the side dungeons we do have happen in a much more varied order. When you’re in Heaven and you have some Bounties to do there, we’re gong to ,make sure you see some side dungeons there and we’re going to send you to th acts to do other things. I think we’ll be addressing that concern really well with adventure mode.

I’ve losts few hardcore characters due to lag spikes, or HC timeouts. Is there any architectural improvements coming that will possibly help?

We’re constantly looking at those situations on  a regular basis. QA is hammering on it, we are server capacity in different regions. Asia for example is having issues with that, especially Australian players. We;re trying to address issues like that too. We’re dong everything we can to solve issues like that.

Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.

Tagged As: | Categories: BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 Expansions, Interviews

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  1. “We are narrowing the range on things so, for example if you can have a could roll 1-500 strength, at the upper tier that’s narrowed to 300-500. So even if you got the minimum roll it’s still a pretty decent item. ”

    Oh, you mean what Diablo 1 and 2 have done from the very beginning?

    I never understood why Blizzard took such an obvious dumb approach in D3. They seemed to think “random = fun!” and then actually took out the really fun randomization – levels, and increased randomization on items to such an extent that they guaranteed 99.99% of them would be crap.

    • Well, even if they did that there would still be a lot of good and mediocre items but ppl would be able to play and experiment.

      When i see ilvl63 sword for the 200th time having +50str & 140 dps i facepalm.

  2. Blizzard admitting straight up diablo does not have a basic fundamental gameplay system in place and this is the reason why there is no PvP.

    AKA pushing all blame for the lack of PvP to their good buddy Jay Wilson

    • Do you even know what gameplay means? The loot isn’t gameplay, that’s a system. It’s like comparing the selection of cars in Gran Turismo to the actual racing. It supports the gameplay, but if the racing controls, feel, car AI and physics were terrible, it wouldn’t matter if there were 10,000 cars that were completely customisable. The gameplay in Diablo 3, the combat, is great. It’s just that the external system of loot, which plugs into that combat, is pretty boring. If it was two pre-made characters with fixed loot fighting, the gameplay of D3 would mean that would be a lot of fun, and far more fun than the same thing in D1 or D2.

      However, then you’ve basically ended up with a really basic MOBA. Since they’re already making Heroes of the Storm, which appears to have the Diablo 3 classes in it as fixed characters, it would be very pointless to do that. It’s quite clear that the earlier PvP demo they had at Blizzcon has got adsorbed into HotS. You can also see from WoW how having to nerf skills for PvP is really annoying to everyone else who just does PvE.

      • Loot is only “part” of the problem.
        If you give it “great” loot in D3 right now just like console and play it, it would still suck. It has no end game nor are the dungeons even remotely “random”.

        If gameplay isn’t a “problem”, they would have added new items and a new class/act and call it a day.

        Now you don’t have to take my word for it, the entire Blizzard team already admitted there is FAR greater problems than not having PvP and they need to spend all their time “fixing” the broken game first.

        • Their mistake was they thought killing monsters all over the map would be fun. But they ran into two problems:

          1. Not enough randomization.
          2. Killing monsters isn’t fun when the loot isn’t there.

          Games like PoE and Diablo 2, for how bad their combat is or how repetitive the Mephisto runs, succeeded if only because the loot is so damn good. I think if Blizz had bungled combat and instead nailed the items in the way they did combat, we’d be in an entirely different situation. Because after all, a skinner box really has no game play to speak of, but wondering if you’ll get that delicious cheese sure is addicting!

          • Completely agreed with the problems. However, would D3 really offer fun gameplay if only these two issues were addressed?

            Purely from a gameplay perspective, do players really think that things like combat (in general), strategy/”combat depth”, enemy behaviour/” tactical challenge”, class/skill/ressource diversification and so on, feel alright as they are right now?

            And I don’t mean by concept, but in execution and from a long-term perspective …

          • “Purely from a gameplay perspective, do players really think that things like combat (in general), strategy/”combat depth”, enemy behaviour/” tactical challenge”, class/skill/ressource diversification and so on, feel alright as they are right now?”

            Of course it could be better than it is now but it’s already far better than D2 and TL2, IMO, and the biggest problems are relatively easy fixes if Blizz chooses to pursue them.

          • @ yovargas: To tell you the truth, it ain’t better than D2. The Hack&slay-action is more streamlined and clean, but with less depth in it’s basics, which is covered up by adding mini-games on top when running into boss-/champion-groups. (Keep in mind the technical limitations of the time D2 came out and the technical limitations nowadays, by the way.) It’s slightly better than TL2, though – there I agree. But taking secondary systems into account, it’s not even reaching Titan Quest. And what’s wrong with the game may be fixable, but not easily, as it requires a major overhaul of basic systems.

    • The primary gameplay system of Hack&Slay is the only thing working in D3. It’s the secondary gameplay systems that are lacking: They botched the fundamentals of the item system. They ditched the character system short before release, with nothing up to date in its place. They got the perfect engine for an arpg but stretch it to perhaps 10% of its capacity, with 30% to 40% of its potential capacity lost from the start by deciding the game to be online only and the lag compensation needed therefore. All that’s left is stupid grind, which only holds interest for munchkin players – the kind of player that no sane gamemaster wants to have in their roleplaying group, because they destroy the fun for all others. All in all they succeeded in making something that is not even a bad d2-clone, but an entirely different kind of action game that could have been a good, even a great arpg if the basics would have been thought through, instead of being iterated to the ground. But the fundamental gameplay system still is the one thing of the game that perfectly works.

  3. Hahah. I’m not sure why they don’t finally just admit to themselves D2 was better in every way than D3 and thus just reimplement PvP etc. the way it was in D2

  4. “When you guys get into Nephalim Rifts, that’s really where we go full throttle in the randomisations. The layouts are going to be totally different.”

    Aka, sorry that diablo 3 classic had no actual randomization on the maps.

  5. Mosqueira must have rehearsed that answer to the Offline Mode question pretty hard. Word for word the exact same ‘enhanced and better social experience’ yadda yadda crap he recited at Gamescom when confronted with this.
    I hope there will be more refined questions on that matter during today’s Q&A he can’t just wriggle out of with that bs.

    And no more player-monster-collision at all?
    Did I get that right from the bit with the scarabs swarming the Crusader?
    So from now on I just can stroll (i.e. clip) through the next elite pack (with ‘Horde’ and ‘Illusionist’ modifier, for instance) if I get cornered by them?

    • No offline mode is a HUGE thing for me…

      The logic behind the answer is just bad and it pisses me off that they try to hide the sun with one finger badly…

      Even tho Diable actually is an enjoyable game in multiplayer, i am pretty sure that most people used to play it offline byself…

      Besides, if they were so concern about the multiplayer aspect of the game then, why didnt they support LAN mode then? When everybody knows that LAN isnthe ultimate best option for multiplayer…

      Very pissed of with this matter…

      • Look at the console. You cannot play random PUGs b/c SOMEONE will have hacked their items. Between the idiot followers and the speed, multiplayer is where the game really shines. Cutting out a major and preferable way for most people to play (random PUGs) b/c a few malcontents want to play alone, and then expose all of the legit multiplayers to a completely broken and hacked game (like every single offline game in history) is asinine. And yes, the torrents had D3 console out about a week before the stores did. There was that, too.

    • Would it really make you feel any better if their answer was the far more truthful: “Because you’ll steal our game.”

      • That’s only an argument for games that are not worth buying…

      • Josh’s replies on that question are just continuations of the unsatisfying comments JW and others made back in 2010 and on. I think it would go over better if they just admitted it was about piracy and hacking prevention.

        • And I’ve no problem with it being about hacking prevention. I’ve said that from the very beginning when it was first announced – ‘prevent hacking’ was last on their list of reasons why they went with online only, but I think internally it’s probably their 2nd reason after “prevent piracy”.

    • Only some monsters cause no collision, like Scarabs.

      • […]
        “The player actually walks through the scarabs. This is new technology that we got to allow us to put a tremendous number of guys on screen without making the player get bound up and stuck and colliding with them.”

        To me that sounds more like a overall general change to collision detection, but I sure hope you’re right and this does only apply to scarabs.

  6. So is the whole world in Adv mode randomized now or is it just the Rifts?

    • Wouldn’t you like to know! Too bad you weren’t at Blizzcon where you could ask that question and they could dodge it so adeptly.

      Seriously, based on the way they answered, I’m guessing it’s a big fat NO here. 🙁

      Act V looks pretty good and Neph Rifts are nice consolation, but we still have to trudge through those samey acts to get our bounties, which makes my excitement level for this mode slightly less.

  7. >What are you going to be doing about unique items, right now it seems like you have a lot of items with cool effects bit the stats just trump any of those effects. what are you doing about items that have cool effects but are also optimal to use so that we actually want to use them?

    Argh. Their answer to this was so underwhelming! Perhaps it could have been worded better but the devs answer was basically, “Items are going to do wacky things!” buzz phrase. I think the questioner was talking about situations like Mempo crit on helm and Manticore with double CD. Y’know… the entire trifecta debacle.

  8. QUOTE

    Blizzard admitting straight up diablo does not have a basic fundamental gameplay system in place and this is the reason why there is no PvP.
    no, they have one in place. it's just not very good. for example, combat looks and feels great until you pick up more crap loot that breaks your spirit or have gone into an area so many times. you can run practically run it blindfolded. the fundamentals josh is referring to is game mechanics. gameplay is built upon game mechanics. their problems with itemization, randomization, difficulty, build diversity, etc all stem from poorly executed game mechanics. 
    
    Now you don't have to take my word for it, the entire Blizzard team already admitted there is FAR greater problems than not having PvP and they need to spend all their time "fixing" the broken game first.
    i would agree, but it's not exactly shocking news because they've been admitting their massive failures for quite some time (lulz..although, i never get tired of hearing it). in any event, i don't think they're in a hurry to revisit PvP even if RoS solves all their problems. there really is no upside at this point. it would have to be the greatest pvp mode in history  because they waited so long.
  9. Half of Q&A was:
    \we are not telling\

    The hell they make the panel for?
    To make people mad? or they getting the questions now to answer later at some live blog/twitt/reddit event whatever…

    That excuse of not showing characters in cinematics beyond the first one caause of armor didnt give player identifycation was just rubbish…

    • >”That excuse of not showing characters in cinematics beyond the first one caause of armor didnt give player identifycation was just rubbish…”

      No it wasn’t. That’s the case in almost every single game ever made where there’s (a) pre-rendered cinematics and (b) lots of variation in how the character might look at any given moment. How many times was your character shown in the cinematics in Diablo 2? That’s right, never. It’s just standard practice.

  10. This whole event is totally underwhelming. Plus, Mosqueira needs to work out a little more. He’s neck is almost gone entirely…

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