Bashiok Speaks


Diablo 3 community manager Bashiok made a few more posts in the forums today, and all the ones with substantial game info are quoted below. If you click any of the links from the WoW D3 forum, notice his avatar; it’s an animated Fallen Shaman from D3; the first confirmation that that monster type will return in the game. “Raaak-anishu?”

On all the D3 characters being self-sufficient and powerful in their own right, or just co-op helpers?

Not that classes won’t benefit from each other in various ways, Barbarian shouts being good party buffs, etc. but every class is essentially a demon-killing DPS class. We have no intentions to create a tank, or healer, etc. Every class will play their own way, and while some may take direct hits easier than others, it certainly wouldn’t define their role within a party. Everyone should be kicking in heads at the same time.

Diablo III having a strong emphasis on cooperative play is really building upon one of the best parts of Diablo II, and that’s charging through dungeons with other people. Our focus is on removing the frustrations that existed with grouping, and adding new features that encourage everyone to stick together and fight as a party.

On item drops in parties.

Currently – while in a party each player will see their own drops from each kill. This could mean that after killing a zombie I see a sword drop, and you may see a shoulder slot item drop. Or I see nothing drop, while you got an axe.

Obviously while in a group you’re killing faster, and this could translate to an exponentially increasing number of drops with each additional player in your party. However, it’s balanced in such a way that the drop % is pulled back a bit with each additional player (I’m simplifying it, but that’s what it boils down to). This keeps it from being almost detrimental to not play with a full party, while still giving a nice increase to the amount of drops if you do.

From this system it seems quite a few people got the impression that you’ll never see items drop that you can’t use. For instance, a Barbarian will never see a dagger that only a Witch Doctor can use. This isn’t true. There is no effect, or at least no currently intended effect, to restrict which items which classes can or can’t see for their respective drops. It’s still intended that you could see an item that your class can’t use. It’s easy enough to drop the item, ask if anyone can use it, or just sell it off of course.

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Yeah, so right now in a multiplayer game I’ll see my items drop, if I don’t want it or can’t use it I’ll need to pick it up and then drop it at which time everyone can see it. Then I can of course ask in chat if anyone wants it. It’s fairly straight forward, and by no means final, obviously.

To clarify “can’t use” we don’t plan nor have any armor items at the moment that are class specific – although the bonuses and stats may be better suited to a certain class – anyone can pick up any chest/shoulder/leg/etc item and wear it. However, there are some weapons/off-hand items that are class specific.

On making trading more accessible:

One of the largest issues with a bartering system is that it prevents any ease of entry into the system for players. I have an item and I think it’s probably worth something, but I have no idea what its worth and no easy way to find out. You have an item I want, but I have no idea what you may want for it or if I’m going to get a fair trade for it. You may throw a bunch of acronyms at me, get frustrated I don’t know what I’m doing, and then leave. That’s not going to be a positive experience for either of us, and neither of us get what we want out of it. With a stable economy and currency, there’s at least a common language that anyone can understand regardless of their game knowledge.

What about item binding?

Diablo is a trading game, and we have no plans to change that. We don’t have any inclination to make items bind to a character, or otherwise remove trading opportunities.

Will there be absolutely no items that will be bound to a character? It isn’t possible to say with any certainty at this point, there might be.

Why only five classes?

We’re setting out to create unique, interesting, and diverse classes that each have their own style and flavor. Most importantly this isn’t just a basic look at each individual class, but how they compare to each other and overlap (or hopefully, don’t).

When you up the number of classes more and more you’re eventually going to begin down the route of homogenization, they start to bleed into each other’s core abilities and styles which really just detracts from each individual class’ recognizability and distinction within the game.

In addition, by limiting the number – and I say limiting not because it’s a low number, it’s the number of classes in Diablo II and a good one at that, but because we’re not going crazy with it – we can focus on making each class really impressive, both visually and through the way they each feel and play.

On the play style encouraged by health globes:

The health globes are actually, in my opinion, really cool. Playing the game and actually seeing what types of strategy they encourage, you can start to see what they add and how they make the combat more interesting.

I’ll set the scene. You’re a barbarian, you’re in the wilderness and after fighting wave after wave of ghouls, skeletons, demons, what have you, you’re low on health. You’re out of potions, and after using a strategic leap out of the fray you turn around and seismic slam the skeletons charging you. Two of them drop health globes, but the globes dropped behind the skeletons that are still advancing. If they reach you, you’re not going to survive. Are you able to leap safely to snag the globes before they can tear into you? Can you throw out another slam and try to remove the remaining enemies? How can you survive? You have a fraction of a second to decide.

The health globes help to create situations just like this, where you’re not just sitting there spamming potions, you’re using your abilities and strategy to stay alive. Possibly most importantly, you’re encouraged to keep fighting, and not just run away.

With random spawns, random drops, and of course the randomness of combat, the health globes add to creating situations that are just more… interesting, and in my opinion, fun.

On the side of potions, they still exist, but they’re likely to be on a cooldown of some type. They’ll also likely restore health based on a percentage that’s relative to your character. They may heal an instant amount, they may be the old over time type system. They’re probably going to be filling an emergency-heal role more than anything though.

And to answer a question we’ve heard from a few people, no, Bashiok won’t be posting in this, or any, non-Blizzard forum. It’s now Blizzard’s company policy that the Community Managers may only post in the various official Battle.net and WoW forums.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Diablo III Classes, Items

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