A forum reader asked a good question about the Wizard’s skills, and the curious fact that there are virtually no fire-based spells. Bashiok replied:

    Bashiok: The wizard is a young and very arrogant student. Rightfully so in some ways as she is extremely gifted. She knows she’s better than all of her classmates at mage-school, and even some of the teachers. Something as simple as elemental magic would probably be something the wizard considers beneath her. She focuses on high magics, arcane magic, the control of space and time, and while she does like to focus on weather based magics – she tends to put a slight arcane or unnatural spin on them.

    If she were to use fire, she wouldn’t do it in such a pedestrian way as to literally conjure it herself. She’d want to make it a bit more challenging.

    Fire is a physical element that the Witch Doctor uses a fair amount of though. His kit is a mixture of physical magic and the supernatural, which obviously fits very well with his name. We want each class to feel unique, and a separation of visual style is important to basic gameplay, so there’s some intentional guidelines as to how much skill types and styles should overlap between the classes.

    what would you call disintegrate?

    Bashiok: You could mistake disintegrate as fire based, but it’s actually a beam of pure energy, and is classified as arcane damage.

    Elsewhere, a guy asks about mobility spells, and points out what an advantage the D2 sorc has with teleport, when it comes to rushing, item runs, etc. Bashiok replies:

    We definitely want to avoid as best as possible a single class being far and away better than all others at something (such as mobility) and thus used exclusively for specific tasks.

    As long as there is choice and variety in the game there’s going to be one solution that gains a general consensus as being the best at “X”. The hope and the intent is to make the difference between the best and second best, third best, etc. as close to imperceptible as possible so that you can use what ever class/character you want, what ever build you want, and not feel that you’re far and away below the abilities of something else. That’s balance in choice.

    We’re taking a close look at what those specific mobility issues were in Diablo II and could be in Diablo III, and yes we’re certainly trying to be a bit smarter about planning for it. You specifically mention the witch doctor. With the way he plays and feels a big warp or jump around skill just doesn’t really seem right for him, but he may have a trick or two up his sleeve…

    A guy posted a comment about the Barbarian skill Death Proof, and wondered how an auto-resurrection skill could be in the game without ruining Hardcore. Bashiok replied, but rather disingenuously, I thought.

    Bashiok: I’d clarify on if it’s even in the game still but watching you guys go crazy over numbers and ideas and what a percentage of health even translates into in an unknown play environment is kind of entertaining.

    So what do you think then, is it op or not op?

    Bashiok: It makes no difference. What does 30% health mean?

    If you have a level 75 barb in Diablo III with no items on, naked, in normal mode, with a single skeleton hitting him, how many hits will it take to reduce his health by 1%?

    Yeah, there’s no way to know, we have no real concrete information as to how much damage enemies are doing, so arguing over 30% being a lot or a little is irrational. You can’t superimpose Diablo II experiences with stats to a different game.

    This whole topic is straight out of a time capsule, since we saw tons of conversation about it last October, after we posted all the Barbarian skill info from Blizzcon. That said, the post was about how the skill itself sounds designed to ruin hardcore mode. The 30% hit point recovery was mentioned only at the very end of the original post, and wasn’t the main point at all. It looks like Bashiok focused on that to avoid dealing with the real issue? Personally, I hope Death Proof will be removed from the game, or at least from HC mode, assuming it hasn’t been changed in some massive way. Any sort of resurrection, especially one for just one char typeinvalidates the whole point of hardcore mode.

    Speaking of HC resurrection, what do you guys think about this idea that Bashiok posted in an older thread?

    One pay-for idea that specifically relates to Diablo that I thought was kind of interesting was the chance to resurrect a fallen hardcore character.

    I think this was mentioned by a fan, as far as I know we’re not even thinking about these types of pay-for options yet. But, I think it’s kind of interesting. I’m not sure if I like the idea or not, which is probably why I like thinking about it. There are some obvious pros and some obvious cons, but I’m not sure there’s a clear cut answer as to whether it would work well or not.

    I’d rather see them not include HC than add a re$urrection option, unless such chars had a huge dollar sign floating over their heads at all times afterward.

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