Additional Diablo 3 Console Details Revealed at PAX East

Additional media coverage of the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 console appeared over the weekend, and there are some additional bits of info worth knowing, plus hands-on play reports.

First of all, note that there will not be any form of Auction House for the Diablo 3 console game. From the first reports it wasn’t clear if there was no AH or just no RMAH, but it’s been made clear now that the Auction House will not be part of the console game. There will be less loot drops of junk, the game can be played full offline with character save files on your USB stick, and there’s no AH. I await half a dozen “finally how the game should have been!” comments.

How does it play with the console controller, though? A dude from Kotaku says it’s actually better:

Diablo III feels much, much better on a controller than it does on a mouse and keyboard. Put the pitchforks down, folks. I was skeptical too. I spent many, many hours in the demon-infested hells of Diablo II (and a few more with Diablo III), and for a while, I figured a console version would never work. When I think Diablo, I think “click, click, click.” But after just a few minutes with Diablo III on PS3—which trades the clicking for nudging, jiggling, and mashing—I almost wish this series had been built for controllers all along.

I know. Blasphemy. Really, though, it feels like a different game: I hopped on a demo at PAX East this morning, loaded up a Demon Hunter, and wandered through one of the dungeons, flinging arrows and firing energy bolts as I danced my way around a mob of enemies. And it felt good. Surprisingly good.

…The takeaway here is that you can move and attack simultaneously, instead of hammering your left mouse button to do just about everything. For a ranged attacker like the Demon Hunter, this is near-revolutionary. It feels graceful. Natural. More like you’re inhabiting your character and less like you’re guiding them from above.

Some other notes from that piece and another one on Destructoid.

  • Ninja looting returns with multiplayer on the same machine, as all item drops are available to all players in the game, and without a split screen display you’re all right there in the same small area all the time. So the infamous couch gaming example may involve some sharp elbows, if sharing is not practiced. (Note that there are individual drops on the console if you’re playing online with strangers, just like the PC version.)
  • The game is virtually the same, as dev Matthew Berger explained, “It’s basically the same. Same XP gain, same enemies. The only tweak we made is since the screen is a little more zoomed in, we slightly changed enemy wave spawns. Boss battles were also changed, in a fun way to accommodate consoles. We did not need to compromise this version in any way”
  • Items on the ground show quality comparison info with up and down arrows, so you can judge if something’s an upgrade even before you pick it up. (Edit: Commenters note that items are still un’id’ed when they drop, so I’m not sure how this works with Rares/Legs.)
  • The console does not connect to at all, and there’s no way to mix PC/Mac with console characters. All online play is done through the PlayStation Network, and character saves are handled on your end, via your cloud storage space or on your machine’s HD. You can write chars to a USB stick and take them to a friend’s house to play together.
  • There’s no release date yet, but Josh Mosqueira said, “Soon-ish.” Hopefully he made a little ™ sign in the air when he said it, to fit with Blizzard’s official stance on the word DiabloWikisoon.
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    29 thoughts on “Additional Diablo 3 Console Details Revealed at PAX East

    1. Just a not – from the game play footage posted earlier you still ID legendaries, so there is still a sense of anticipation.

      • not a huge fan of it being more zoomed in, or the ‘dodge’ mechanic, amongst a few other things… so i’m going to disagree. if anything its even less of the diablo game i want to be playing…. if the pc version was released as such (and with only release date content), there wouldve been even more uproar about how less of a diablo game it was.

    2. “I await half a dozen “finally how the game should have been!” comments.”
      Errr… the list of issues might be a tiny bit longer than that … 😉

    3. What a losers, man ! I don’t even own any console, may be I will buy ps4, but then I need to buy big tv ( have only 32 inch). Just forget it, may be they will improve game for pc also one day.

    4. “…The takeaway here is that you can move and attack simultaneously, instead of hammering your left mouse button to do just about everything.”

      Does this guy click his attacks?

    5. So they think that game, with the actual state…it’s worth of a Blizzard tittle? Blizzard its not the same to me any more…=(

    6. The targeted release date will presumably be late 2013 / early 2014, after the PS4 is available. Porting a game properly isn’t easy or quick, but it’s a hell of a lot faster than creating an entirely new game.

      The only ARPG I’ve played with a gamepad was DeathSpank, which controlled terribly with mouse/keyboard. It worked quite well. Picking out a specific target is next to impossible, but otherwise it should be an appropriate fit for D3.

    7. Well if Diablo 3 feels much, much better on a controller than on keyboard and mouse, then it’s the final proof this piece of software has nothing to do with a Diablo game anymore.
      Which obviously was the designers’ goal anyway, from the very beginning. I understand they still called it “Diablo” to cash in on the brand name, but in retrospective they might ask themselves if sacrificing a franchise for the quick dollar was such a good decision.

    8. Flux, if you check that longer 10 minute video from the previous post you made regarding the console version, you’ll see a bunch of question marks for the comparison call out when the guy playing picks up the Two-Handed Sword. It’s unidentified and I think the comparison call out only appears when you pick up the item into your inventory as a guide to players whether they want to equip it right away without opening the inventory screen.

      Still not sure how I feel about this game. I own a PS3 (Final Fantasy fan) and probably will get a PS4 for future FF titles, but I think it’s going to take a lot of positive opinion of the console version being THAT MUCH better than the PC one to abandon ship from the computer chair to the couch. Hm…

    9. I had been wishing for WASD or similar controls for years. Moving one direction and shooting in the other just feels better, always has. Even w/ the move-to button, you only have one mouse cursor, so you can only aim in one spot at a time, whether that’s aiming a spell/attack or aiming your running around. WASD/thumbstick allows you to actually move and shoot in opposite directions. Still no word on organized PvP, though. Of course, w/ local character storage, it’s all going to be a big hacked farce, anyway. But moving and shooting in separate directions sounds awesome.

      • i definitely have no problem with the controls how they are now, as i’m so used to it playing the diablo franchise (and other similar titles) for so long. they definitely wouldve had to change how several things worked for the WASD system to work well, but it couldve been done to great effect. (though to HUGE uproar)

        ever play bastion? granted, it didnt have the most depth, or much replayability past 2 (maybe 3) replays, but i did really enjoy the WASD controls in that, it made it extremely fun shooting things as you were rolling all over the place while still able to aim at any monster on screen.

    10. Here’s what I’d like to know. How do console players retain patches? Is it possible to save a patch for example and then 7 years from now, on a different PS3 still play an up to date game?

      If so then the fact that the game isn’t linked to could be promising

    11. I do like the idea of moving and attacking at the same time. Though I think some people can do that pretty well with clever use of the mouse already. But it makes it easier for most people. What I do not understand is how you target spells with a controller. If I want to place a meteor on the edge of the screen or on top of my own character, how do I specify that? How does leap attack target a certain enemy of my choosing? Does it choose the closest enemy in the direction my character is facing? Some spells have a delay so I may want to place it in a location no enemy is occupying at the moment.

      • i wouldn’t be surprised if it acted like Dungeon Siege 3 (which good GOD was possibly the worst sequel to a great game i EVER played.)

        it basically just guessed (or assumed?) which monster you wanted to target with your attacks and aimed it there. the worst system ever, as you basically had to just keep backtracking and running around until the spot you were in, and the spot the monster you wanted to attack matched some secret algorhythm and you got the target right.

        as to how that will work with targeted delayed abilities like meteor…. i can only guess that the spell will just kinda suck in the console version because of that, or that they will change the way it works somehow.

    12. I’m pissed I got a sh***y game because Blizzard wanted to open D3 to the console market. I bought a $2000 computer, not a $300 console, god damnit. I don’t use dumbstick controllers for a reason.

    13. “We did not need to compromise this version in any way”
      Because you compromised 2 years ago?
      Come on Blizzard. You are making it too easy.

      Not believing it plays better with gamepad than mouse/keyboard though. So few games do.

    14. I actually wonder how many will go out and buy it or the console since 12 mill already have bought it for the pc.

      • The more we know, the more it is obvious this is a complete different game.

        No AH, lesser loot drops, no trading, much easier to gear up. More animated boss fights…

        It is clear this targets the fast 20 minutes playing sessions of consoles.

        Ages 9 – 18 which want to hunt for rewarding loot with friends in one room.

        Kind of CoD or Fifa play.

        Complete different audiance than that typical 20-40 aged PC player.

        I am less inclined to buy it now, but the couch play with the wife sounds interesting 🙂

        Altough the satisfaction of the long term PC play suits me better.

        I hope they still include HC play though.

        • “the couch play with the wife sounds interesting”
          😀 Indeed the couch play with gf/wife/partner is, in fact, far more interesting than D3.

    15. “More like you’re inhabiting your character and less like you’re guiding them from above.”

      this is diablo, and not fps/tps.
      it has always been about you as the owner guiding hapless char in the sanctuary. this is one of those hardcore rpg things

      there are basically three types of games:
      1. guiding a char through world – isometric view (best rpgs use this style)
      2. being a char – first person view (basically all fps games)
      3. following a char – third person view (voyeurish looking-over-the-shoulder games)

        • lets see:
          -planescape: torment
          -baldur’s gate 1-2
          -fallout 1-2
          -diablo 1-3
          -icewind dale 1-2

          also hybrid rpgs like
          -jagged alliance 1-2
          -ufo/xcom 1-2

          lookup alltime best rpgs and you will see a lot of these in top 3

    16. I’d like to know how the chat function will work for Playstation Network games. Will it be voice only, expanded emotes that add text to chat (goblin etc) or some form of onscreen keyboard disaster?

      I massively enjoyed Diablo 1 on the Playstation but would only consider Diablo 3 on the PS3/4 if it was as fun as D1 on PS1.

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