Some hot and steamy DiabloWikiBashiok forum action from Monday.

    Bashiok leapt into a semi-wacky thread about why Blizzard does or does not release info about their games during production, with an appropriate sincere reply:

    It’s a well known fact that there is a secret society of the five wealthiest people known as The Pentaverate, who run everything in the world, including the release of information on Diablo III, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado known as “The Meadows”.

    A fan asks if armor will be gender-specific, or will breastplates keep growing breasts when girl characters put them on. Yes, yes they will.

    No. There are no gender specific items, skills, advantages or disadvantages. Choosing male or female is simply a choice of aesthetic.

    A fan asks about “forced leveling” by which he seems to mean minimum level requirements. Bashiok explains the question, and suggests that the D3 Team has come up with better solutions to making sure characters are in the Goldilocks range as they proceed throughout the game. (DiabloWikiJay Wilson previously hinted about better ways than Clvl requirements to make sure characters were using appropriate DiabloWikiitems, so they seem to have sort of a theme going on this “secret better improvements” issue.)

    Forced leveling? I’ll just have to go along with what other people think that means. If forced leveling means a requirement to move through the game, such as “level 10 is required to move to Act II” etc. then no, there are no current plans to put level requirements on progressing through the game.

    As far as I’m aware it hasn’t been mentioned by a Blizzard employee as being potentially included in Diablo III, but I could very well be mistaken.

    So this level requirement business is usually discussed as a solution to ‘glitch rushing’ or a way of quickly leveling a character through use of bugs and loopholes. The assumption that these bugs and loopholes will exist in Diablo III in the first place is somewhat of a stretch of logic (maybe not as much as I’d like . So, the most obvious and popular solution is a level requirement. And yeah, it could work, but unless you can normalize XP gains you’re probably fairly often going to be simply holding people back for no good reason. They’ve completed the act legitimately, but they’re a single level shy of the requirement. Now they have to go grind for no reason other than to level so they can continue playing the game. It’s not a very graceful solution. No, but there are solutions… nay, improvements! in how progression through the game can be handled. Ones that offer not only regulations on progression, but enhance the game itself.

    Elsewhere, Bashiok has added a few addendums to his last post on v1.13, in which he announced a sort of beta testing period for the patch on a test realm.

    I think the term beta has too many preconceptions attached to it. Revised to “test realm”.
    I’m told it will be similar if not exactly the same as similar tests that have happened for Warcraft III recently.

    Advance notice of the ladder wipe?

    We try to give everyone at least a two week notice before a ladder reset. When it became apparent that the patch could potentially launch in two weeks, we put up an announcement just in case.

    Now, even though no promises were given it’s going to create some hope that it will be out, but we can only do so much to balance between expectation and information that’s necessary for the community to have.

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