DiabloWikiBashiok continued to pour water on the Diablo Drought with a few more forum posts, on the “leaked” D3 box art, and the Clvl 60 Maximum Level issue.

    We posted news about the “leaked” Diablo III box art Tuesday morning, and had debunked the rumor less than an hour later with links to the original artwork and a relayed quote from the game retailer who posted it. Word that the box is an unofficial mockup and the artwork is fanart of a WoW guy hasn’t spread to everyone yet, though, as Bashiok’s first reply bait demonstrates.

    Diablo 3 Box Art Leak?

    You be the judge!

    Bashiok: Who is that demon guy supposed to be?

    Word had it, it was Sargeras.

    OH MAN! Spoiler alert. Burning Legion invades Sanctuary.

    Elsewhere, Bashiok added a couple of replies to yesterday’s long post about the Clvl 60 issue. Here’s what he had to add.

    Unfortunately, the level cap is obviously just so in the expansion they can increase it.

    Bashiok: I’d like to know why. Why is that obviously the reason? I’m not picking on you, I’ve seen more than a few people say this. Is it because obviously people wouldn’t buy an expansion unless it had more levels? That’s obviously not true because LoD sold many copies based on an additional act, new classes, new items, runewords, jewels, charms, cubing, 800×600 resolution, etc. etc. So looking at what expansions provide, how is it logical to say that we’d obviously make level 60 the cap so we could finally have some way to sell these pesky expansion things?

    If you want to draw the WoW comparison, Cataclysm only offers an additional 5 levels, as opposed to the previous expansions’ 10 levels each, and it was still the fasting selling PC game in history, topping the previous title holder, Wrath of the Lich King. And you could make the argument “Well there are a lot of things that go into that beyond just some more levels.” And I would say “Exactly.”

    If we felt 99 was the best level cap to have in Diablo III, that’s what we’d be doing. We work extremely hard to design, produce, test, and support finely polished games with a strong focus on fun, and that is the obvious reason these design decisions are made.

    …Let me follow that up with a disclaimer – We aren’t thinking about an expansion at all yet, but as levels are intended to pace content (we expect you to hit the last level around when you kill the last boss on Hell) it’s not unreasonable to assume that additional levels would be present in an expansion, assuming it did offer additional content we’d want more levels to keep pace with.

    I don’t refute the logic that an expansion could bring more levels, but I fully refute any idea that we’re making design decisions that directly impact the core of the player progression system so we can have a bullet point on the back of a box.

    Is anyone treating this Clvl 60 max thing as a purely cynical ploy on Blizzard’s part to have features for the expansion? Wait, what am I saying? This is the internet.

    Okay, of course *some* people are doing that, but I don’t think it’s the dominant view. I think it’s fairly obvious that Blizzard will want to increase the max level in the Diablo III expansions, but I think that’s a good thing. A higher level cap is a wanted feature, on top of them adding (stuff like) another class, another act, another DiabloWikirune, more levels to DiabloWikigems, etc. I don’t think anyone *doesn’t* want Clvl 70 as the max cap from the first expansion?

    The argument, if there is one, is that that’s clearly part of their motivation for making the maximum level 60, especially (I think) in the D3 Team’s rejection of fan suggestions for things like the experience continuing to grow past Clvl 60, purely as a way to show total kills. That some people spin that into evil/greedy Bli$$ard just adding it for a “bullet point on the back of the box” is unrepresentative of the argument on the whole, and for Bashiok to stress only that point in his rebuttal seems a little paper tiger-y/disingenuous.

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