A fan asked if we’ll see class-specific items in Diablo III, and DiabloWikiBashiok gave an interesting reply, one well suited to spur debate.

    We don’t want to bias the drop system into only giving you items you want or can use, it would be a trading and economic killer. We want to encourage trading and encourage people to see worth in items even if they can’t use them – give them to friends, use them for other characters, sell them, trade them, etc.

    Along those lines but somewhat off-topic we do now have some restrictions on weapon types usable by each class. It’s been part of the game for a while now. Allowing every class to use every weapon type was actually going to require a huge amount of time and effort and it would have meant cutting out or cutting into other features. We evaluated really how often people would want to have their class holding a weapon type that (traditionally) contradicted their class-style versus that work going in to other features – specifically having a lot more skills and a lot more skill-rune effects. We made the obvious choice which is making sure there are a ton of awesome skills and rune effects to choose from.

    Because I can see the conclusions being jumped to RIGHT NOW in my old cranium – let me state that weapon types do not dictate stats. At least not wholly (barbarians can’t use staves so there’s no point in allowing fury related stats on them). We understand that the game is about variation, customization, and experimentation in class builds. We’re not World of Warcraft, we’re not looking to make weapon stats “optimal” for the types and classes that will use them. Which is to say, we’re not going to put specific stats in specific amounts on each weapon of a specific type because we’re making assumptions about what each class wants out of their stats. We want variation, and experimentation, and all that good stuff. These restrictions don’t affect those goals, it really just means you probably won’t see a wizard lugging around a two-handed axe. Kind of a bummer, but then think about what it affords us to work on with more and better looking skills, a more robust rune-skill system, etc. We want to spend our time and effort on what makes sense to making the game better.

    As Bashiok says, this has been in for a while. While playing the Blizzcon build last year, I found axes that were Barbarian only, staves that were Wiz only, and wands that were WD only.

    As for the larger question, Is this a feature you guys want to see in the game? D2X added class specific items into the Diablo II world, but only a few types, and they were fairly arbitrary (what made those Barb/Druid hats so special that other chars couldn’t put them on?) The D3 approach seems a bit more logical, with weapons that aren’t suited to some builds not available to them. This goes hand in hand with the fact that attributes aren’t manually assigned, and the fact that items won’t have str/dex requirements. That doesn’t mean you have to like it, though…

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