Andrew Chambers and Wyatt Cheng Blizzcon 2011 Interview


The popular Blizzard tag team of Wyatt Cheng and Andrew Chambers generated another interview, this one reported by MMORPG.com. For a change, this one one isn’t a transcript; it’s an article created from the interview, and thus it provides the same familiar replies in a slightly different format. A quote:

Wyatt and Andrew talked about the Rune system and said this is really where the customization of the characters truly comes into the game. Runes allow players to tweak all kinds of abilities with different animations and customization. We laughed about the Witch Doctor rune that worked with chickens. This may seem like a comical answer to the rune system but the team is very serious about how players can use runes to really give their characters identity as well as some amazing boosts to abilities.

When we talked about balancing Runes for PvP Wyatt again stated that PvE in Diablo 3 really is on the front burner. The game is designed as an action RPG at its core and that want to keep that focus. Even though Diablo PvP is important they do not design the game with PvP balance at the forefront, they leave that kind of thinking to the Starcraft team because of the game’s eSport presence. PvP is always considered for the game, make no mistake, but PvE dungeon romping is the heart of Diablo 3.

Every Blizzcon 2011 attendee I’ve talked with said they absolutely loved the PvP demo, and that includes a number of people who had no interest in PvP in D3 prior to playing it. The exact same phenomena occurred at last year’s Blizzcon, in regards to the PvP demo, and thus I feel fairly confident in saying that the Arena in Diablo III is going to be much bigger and more popular than the devs seem to realize, and that all their protestations of “no esport” and “no tournaments” and “not designed for competitive dueling” are going to get tossed aside by sheer weight of player demands.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, BlizzCon 2011, Interviews

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  1. I agree with you that the arenas will probably be hugely popular. But I have my reservations about the competitive dueling etc. given the inherent imbas that are surely present in the game (and which be likely realized in full only upon release of the game). Surely, the fan base will try to figure a way around it, e.g. the use certain skills/passives/rune combinations might be excluded entirely, or there will be a set-up stage where players disclose their builds to each other, and then have say 3 actions to modify their owe build based on the knowledge of the opponent. So, anyway, i dont see battle arena being anything more that a really fun, deathmatch experience:) looking forward to it!

    • As it is right now (and probably will remain for release) you cannot change your build at all during matches so know what your opponent has will not really help you in terms of adapting your skills or passives… just your strategy in using what you already have set…

  2. I think with the vast amount of skill combinations and the inability to balance them, will be fine for competitive duelling because when you have 1 cookie class, there should always be another skill combination to top that. I doubt there would be 1 class kills all builds. I think?

  3. Imbalance never stopped WoW arenas from having cash tournaments. As long as they focus on 3v3 or 4v4 balance instead of trying for 1v1 balance, it’ll be “good enough” for cash tournaments.

    • Except the margin of imbalance in D3 will be a far cry from WoW’s and they are not even intending on fixing it considering how impossible it would be with so many build combinations whereas WoW locks you into 1 of 3 specializations for each class and glyphs don’t customize things that much compared to runes so… yeah… WoW’s PvP imbalances are tiny compared to D3 and the devs are content with it being that way…

      With all that said, while I will never expect to see official tournaments done by Blizz, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some third party tournaments pop up here and there…

      • In WoW each class has over a dozen active skills they can use at will, plus trinkets. D3 characters have 6 active skills, at a time. Don’t discount the complexity of the tool kits. The 6 skill limit makes D3 balance actually easier, especially when you consider the mutually exclusive runes (you can’t have the same skill w/ two different runes at the same time on one character).

      • True but you most likely will end up with a kind of rock paper scissors balance (but with more options) where most builds are concerned power-wise. Throw in tactics and you may find that with luck rock might be able to defeat paper sometimes.

  4. I actually love D3 isn’t balancing PvP like maniacs, mainly because I want D3’s PvP to be a fun experience and not a competitive… no pressure when playing, do some crazy builds, crazy setups, and have just crazy fun without having to play on top of my game. It’ll also allow me to play with many of my friends since they aren’t really competitive or actually skilled. But that all doesn’t let me from figuring out an imba PvP build, because I am kind off competitive in perfecting my charactar.

  5. Yes yes yes! Toss it aside! PvP in DIII will be HUGE! I completely agree with you on that point. Please give us a poll to show the devs how much the community cares for PvP!

  6. In D2 for me it was all about PvP. The only reason to play was to join dueling games and battle each other, especially if you had a friend along and you could team up. The only reason to MF was to find better gear to PvP with, or gear for a new class to PvP with. The majority of my time was spent MFing with a sorc, and dueling with a bowazon.

    After those glory days in .09 patch I quit for years and decided to start back up in 2008, after they had made tons of patch changes and runewords had become the norm. Enigma ruined PvP for me because druids and other random classes could teleport everywhere. It took the fun out of PvP for me, so instead I built characters to MF and do key runs, as well as uber.

    But then once you got your hellfire torch charms and built a good strong class, there was nothing left to do. It was like you had won, and without having a fun PvP experience there was no reason to keep playing. I could have… done more key runs? Got more hellfire torches? Done more Baal runs? But doing runs wasn’t “fun” it was just what you had to do to get items. So once you’ve got good items, what’s the point in doing more runs over and over if you’re never going to PvP with it?

    So for me, having a good PvP system is essential for the end game. It’s the whole reason to strive for better gear and to keep playing. I don’t want them to “balance” the classes, I think they should just let it be whatever the community makes it. As long as they don’t introduce PvP (and PvE) breaking items like Enigma.

    • I agree with everything you wrote, that is exactly why I am also concerned about the whole inferno thing. No more level-ups, just-item hunting, which I don’t think can exclusively drive you to play, i mean in both prior games, whenever u grinded for gear, u still got XP, and here the devs say 70% of best items is in inferno, but hey, you don get the xp for killing monsters, to me that sounds a bit disheartening…

      • Actually, what they said was that 70% of the items are in ‘post-Normal’ difficulties.  Mostly to assuage those who felt the beta is too easy; Normal is like training wheels, especially in Act 1.  You can finish the game, but can’t get anything like the ‘best’ gear, or even necessarily hit the level cap, in ‘Normal’.  You’ll need to start over in the next difficulty up, before you’ll even be able to see half the items in the game.

        Probably not even half the items in the game are Inferno-only.  But I’d guess the items that are there, will be the best.

    • Good god my man I agree so much I jizzed.
       
      The only thing I disagree with is enigma. You should have stuck it out man. Enigma opened up a world of new exciting builds. The game still had balance. Anyone could beat anyone! A good sorc > hammerdin a good hammerdin > druid or vise versa, barbs with teleport made them good against sorcs. God Enigma was amazing you really should have played to see how that diversified the game.
       
      I did also play in .09 with bowazons (tankazons) which was the most fun ever, but Enigma was amazing too. The builds went from 3 useful chars to 15+ builds. Druids/assassins/necros/hammerdins all became capable without nerfing the rest. If you were good you could beat ANYONE.
       
      God I love pvp

      • YES YES YES !!!!! Diablo’s PVP was always amazing fun throughout all the patches. It really evolved over the years and lawlord is right about having missed out on not trying enigma pvp. Honestly it balanced it more than ever before. All sorts of interesting and viable builds became possible. All 3 sorcs, Trapsin, Wind Druids, Poison and Bone Necs, BvC barbs, Hammerdins, and interestingly enough the non teleporters were still viable like Rabies wolf druid, WW-sin, Smiter, CS zon, Bowazon and even more I’m forgetting atm.

        For me once I started dueling, PVE became my “job” so I could earn enough items to trade for and equip my PVP heroes. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but the priority became finding better and better items to improve my PVP characters. It really went hand in hand. I don’t know how engaging D3 end-game content will be but I am sure that PVP will play a huge role in the community especially once the game is out for a couple years. Personally I can’t wait.

        One thing I know I will miss from DII is the very slow leveling process past the very capable and viable 80 which was very easy to get to, you could always have that out of reach goal of 99. It gave you something to work on long term and didn’t really affect balance. A level 80 vs a level 99 was a fair fight unlike WoW (not bashing, just explaining). So you had a sense of progression through all those long and grindy MF runs.

        The game and the Arena were absolutely amazing at Blizzcon this year! I can’t wait to join you all in Sanctuary come early 2012.

        • Totally agree.  I thought Nigma was a great addition to pvp as well as pvm.  Teleporting fishy necros were quite fun.  Personally I hope to see many people from this site while playing.  Would be nice to know some folks that are knowledgeable about the basics of Diablo thus limiting hand holding.  Just watch though, I’ll get there and not understand a thing….wouldn’t that be my luck.  🙄

  7. I’m pretty Meh about PvP in Diablo 3. But there are definately people out there that will absolutely love it. But I DO NOT want what happened in WoW to happen i Diablo 3. Constantly nerfing PVE to balance PvP. I’m loving that the Dev team do not want to go there. If they do have to balance PvP in the future, just change the calculation between PvP and PvE. I never understood why they didn’t do that in WoW.

    • B/c you haven’t played it yet…

      • His complaint and fears are valid. PvP singlehandedly ruined PvE balance in WoW. I played arenas there, and feel no need to throw myself at an even worse system. I wonder how much of this “enthusiasm” for PvP will last once gear and hardcore PvP’ers make every match a cheesefest. Still, enjoy your ideals while they last.

        • pve balance is necessary in wow and not so much in Diablo. There are no end game raids or boss fights where you have to be efficient in your skill usage to beat a boss. In diablo there is only skill spam. So I don’t think the need to have pve at the expense of pvp is necessary in D3. PVP is very important, and if there are “hardcore pvpvers make every match a cheesefest” like you say, then that is even more reason to balance PVP.
           

          • I’m not disagreeing with your logic, but Blizz has already said balancing PvP in D3 will be too hard and they’re okay with imbalance. I’m just going by what’s been said already.

  8. diablo is pve at is core and hope it stays like that, no way compromising balance in pve for balance in pvp

  9. I think the Devs know the PvP is going to be a smash hit, however it isnt the main aim of the game, hence i feel they are intentionally downplaying it to keep the focus on the PvM story . after launch PvP will get more attention

  10. Just add diminishing returns on stuns, fears and the like. Thats enough for vanilla D3. PvP, i expect, will be a big part of the first expension pack. I expect different gamemodes (f.e. D3 Dota, capture the flag). Still, D3 is a PvE game and should stay PvE mostly, but that doesnt mean Blizz couldnt and/or shouldnt create a great PvP experience, too. PvP is essential for long term play for me. The Arena Death Match is a good start

    • Capture the flag would be sweet.

      • Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Murderball, DotA/Tower Defense, Siege. Simplified DotA would be freaking AWESOME.

        • my god capture the flag would be amazing. Maybe there is a countdown of 500seconds on the flag with whoever controls it for the longest wins. Like if blue team held it for 45 seconds before dying, then red for 50, Red would be ahead, and the seconds would still count down.
          Kinda like League of Legends dominion.
          Anyway I see some amazing fun they could do. They definitely need to focus on pvp as well as PVE

  11. “Every Blizzcon 2011 attendee I’ve talked with said they absolutely loved the PvP demo, and that includes a number of people who had no interest in PvP in D3 prior to playing it. The exact same phenomena occurred at last year’s Blizzcon, in regards to the PvP demo, and thus I feel fairly confident in saying that the Arena in Diablo III is going to be much bigger and more popular than the devs seem to realize, and that all their protestations of “no esport” and “no tournaments” and “not designed for competitive dueling” are going to get tossed aside by sheer weight of player demands”

    I think the e-sport aspect of it will come later. Starcraft wasn’t made to be an e-sport, the community (korea) just took it to places where it has become an e-sport. The devs then backed it, supporting the e-sport scene.

    I can see the same thing possibly happening with Diablo 3 – but not until after the last expansion pack has been done and dusted. If the crowd is still behind pvp in D3 at that time, you’ll probably see a shift in direction by the devs and start supporting it.

    • Why does every Blizzard game should be an e-sports game, comon man. I don’t even see it growing towards a e-sports game, definatly not. Never happened to D2 either.

  12. Not so sure I want D3 to ever become an e-sport honestly.  I did not like PvP in D2 for all sorts of reasons (broken, to many dupes, to much cookie cutter, etc etc), mostly boiling down to “It wasn’t fun” for me.  PvP in D3 looks like it will actually be fun, but the moment it starts to become an e-sport all fun is going to evaporate and you’re going to end up having the PvP community go to crap just like the community in games like League of Legends.  I want PvP in this game to stay fun, non-competitive, and enjoyable.  Blizzard already has an e-sport, leave that out of D3 and let people play for the sake of fun rather than pure competition.

    • WoW has arena teams, SC2 was made to be competitive, I will guarantee that the PvP aspect of D3 will be narrowed down to what team build can subdue/destroy most other groups in the fastest time. Then a majority will play that team or a narrow variation. Public games will either be those teams or random groups that have no idea what they are doing. And everyone will trash talk you, whether you win or lose.
      WoW’s arenas are more balanced than D3’s ever will be, and there are still Flavor of the Month teams for every season. the PvPing minority complains the loudest about every minute detail. It will happen in D3 as well. Competition attracts loud idiots and jerks. Your best hope is PvP and PvE staying separate, forever.

  13. Honestly, I just want PvP to stay fun, and by that I mean, that the community doesn´t transform it into a “super competitave e-sport”. The moment PvP becomes an e-sport, it stops being fun and enjoyable. I wanna hop into couple of arena matches after all day of farming in Inferno, and duke it out, perhaps with some gear I just found or whatever, and not give a crap about “whats the optimal build”, “how high is my APM” or “that runes I´m using aren´t suited to PvP” and the like. IMO, devs should leave PvP the way it is now, fun, enjoyable and non-competitative, and ignore part of the community hell bent on making it an e-sport (whoever wants to D3 PvP to be a e-sport can join with others who feel the same way, create rules and play, leaving everybody else free to enjoy stress free PvP). E-sport means perfect balance, equal starting postitions, super high levels of competetivness, and ton of nervousness and nerd raging in arena, getting kicked out because you don´t have the “proper” build, and whola lot of other things. Need more examples, go look at DotA or LoL communities.

    • true but it’s not like you could go into a diablo 2 game with any decent opposition and be any good without a well defined and polished build with items. There is a reason immortal kings barbs get smashed every time, because the fun builds lose out to the competitive ones. I do agree this probably shouldn’t be an ESPORT, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have balance. I found d2 to be very balanced in PVP.

      • Yeah D2 was balanced if you have all the duped items. As far as my long time experience is with D2 PvP it was ruled by amazons, sorceresses and barbs besides that it was pretty boring on softcore.

        • In 1.09 that was the case. The only useful skills were orb guided arrow and barbarians. So they were the common class.
           
          But with the advent of synergies and enigma, you had blizzard sorcs, fireball sorcs, tele ww barbs, melee barbs, ww sins, tornado druids, teleporting necros with bonespear, hammerdins, smiters etc.
          Enigma opened up so many new builds. 1.09, or maybe it was 1.08 was VERY HACKED. With those insane jewels and occy rings etc.
          But it got a lot better as it kept going on.
          Dueling now is balanced. You can work towards getting your items as well. Most of the pro items aren’t duped, they are just very high rolled rune words or RARES.

  14. I agree with Flux’s end about the players will end up deciding how PvP will turn out. There will be tournaments for this game I guarantee it. It doesn’t have to involve Blizzard, but they would be missing out on a really good way to promote the game!

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