Blizzard answers your Diablo 3 UnicorNDA Questions

Blizzard answers your Diablo 3 UnicorNDA Questions

If you are a regular on the forums then you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago Nizaris asked you what you wanted to know from the press event and now we are all clear, he has posted the answers from the event. The questions have also been posted in the forums and you can read on for all the sauce…

1. Q:What is the Monks travelling skill(might be apparent from playing the demo)?

I didn’t find this out, sorry. I played the DH and the Wizard. The DH has a new-fangled resource – quite literally Discipline and hatred – a dual resource system that was highly debated. No focus. D3here debunked.

2. Q:Will character names function like in D2 or like in SC2?

“They will work like characters. You cannot have more of the same name on a single account, but any number of different accounts can have the same name.” –Jay Wilson

3. Q:Is the if you die in PvP on Hardcore you’re dead still valid?

“We’ve recently been thinking about changing how hardcore PvP works. I really want death in PvP for the hardcore. Our strike team that has been working on PvP has been pushing back on this idea. They think that there won’t be a PvP HC community. However, if this is the case, I want somewhere in the game that you can go and be flagged for PvP so you can duel and die. I think that was a small community in HC, but still something I want to keep available for the people that want to duel.” –Jay Wilson

4. Q:Aside from Arena, what content is planned for the “late game” after the player reaches level 60?

They did not reveal anything. However, Jay mentions the following on the subject.

“We have not decided what will truly be the end game, but that is mostly because we would like to tool the end game around what the players want to do in the end game. We won’t really know until we start collecting beta feedback and seeing how people play the game.” – Jay Wilson

5. Q:Will an “invisible” or “do not disturb” social feature be added to 2.0?

No, not yet. “We have had a lot of internal discussion on this topic. Mainly we think that having an invisible option is counterintuitive for a community. However, we think there are real concerns that people have that could make it a possibility.” – Rob Pardo

6. Q:Tier 1-12 items drop on hell or only tier 13-18? if yes we can found a tier 1 item on hell with endgame stats or everyone will running around in tier 13-18 looks at lvl60?

I didn’t get this question answered – sorry. I meant to though. L I was curious about this too.

7. Q:Salvage box can only be used to salvage stuff?

Correct. However, when you play the game, you’ll notice that there are other items in the UI that are new. The Cauldron of Jordan – which can be used to sell items anywhere any time. You can then go back to town and buy-back any item you sold with the cauldron in case it was a mistake. The other is the Stone of Recall. This acts like a town-portal. Asd many people have theorycrafted, it is a stone in your character interface that is a channeled skill. If you move or get hit, it gets cancelled. It will bring you back to town and open a portal there to get back.
I didn’t check to see if it had a cooldown.

8. Q:Will guilds be supported in game? I think this would have been brought up already, if it were, but it never hurts to ask.

No guild support announced yet.

9. Q:What will the trade system look like.

Ho boy. Have I got news for you. One of the main info drops this event was the trading system. Well, we get Auction houses. But not just any old in-game AH. You have a REAL MONEY auction house as well as a gold-based AH. What does this mean? Well, you can make money playing Diablo 3, as facilitated through Blizzard’s offered service. It will be accessible through – NOT in game.

WHAT? You might ask? Well, what’s better. Have a safe, manageable, easy way to earn cash that is condoned and regulated? Or some other 3rd party program. Blizzard will be ensuring payments and correct transactions. This is a HUGE win for the community in my opinion. You will be seeing all the screenshots and nifty bits of info in the B-roll video released today. Check it out!

After all the leaks, I have noticed that a lot of people are worried about corner markets, and the fact that it will become an in-game stock market. We talked about this extensively with the developers and they said the following. “We don’t really know what will end up happening with the Auction House. We have a lot of tools at our disposal to ensure the integrity of the Auction House. In addition, the fact that it encompasses an entire region rather than just a few thousand, the investment it would take to corner the market would be unrealistic.”

10. Q:Will monsters be able to drop any item based on their ilvl, or will there be set loot tables?

eLvl = what a monster can drop. Theoretically, a level 60 mob (any mob) can drop any item level 60 and below. These %’s are tweaked based on mob rarity. Normal, rare, elite, boss will have tiered % tweaks.

11. Q: What rewards will we receive for Achievements?

“As of right now, our achievements will give you ways to upgrade your banner. There are different ways to modify it like sigil, color, and other identifiers that show your progress.” – Jay Wilson

This question opens up another new bit of info drop: banners are not introduced in the world. They are similar to Avatars in SC2 where you can upgrade them with things you’ve achieved and other various attributes like if you are HC, if you’ve completed Hell, etc.

12. Q: Is there an effort towards preventing players from being able to eliminate resource management with items/traits? In other words – will D3 prevent players from being able to chain spells with zero consideration to their resource costs?

I did not get this question answered, but from my actual experience in the game, it seems that it depends on your class. Some resources are nearly static. For example – Spirit, Rage, Hatred/Discipline caps will only be affected by your attributes and possible gear modifications. That’s it.
Because… yeah. Willpower is out as a stat. I was extremely retarded and forgot to look at a character pain to see what it was replaced with.

13. Q:Will crafted and legendary items have access to “unique” attributes that don’t appear on the standard magical/rare affix/suffix lists?

I’m pretty sure this was already answered before, but yes.

14. Q:Other than cooldown reduction, damage, and resource considerations, will there be ways for gear to affect skills? Skillrunes excluded from the “gear” subset for the purpose of the question, naturally.

There was “casting speed” attributes on items shown in the demo. So I guess I can say “yes.” (Another fact that debunks D3here)

15. Q:What is the approximate pace of the game for later difficulties? Is it the high-octane rocket tag of Diablo 2 where the player wipes out a screenworth of monsters in a few clicks while avoiding being instagibbed himself? Or is it significantly slower to allow tactical play into the game?

No info about late-game revealed, there was no point in asking based on what they could answer.

16. Q:It is expected that when a character reaches it’s full/ideal gear load out at level 60, it will be slaughtering previously challenging enemies in Hell difficulty with ease.

Will there be end-game content explicitly designed to challenge fully geared characters? It would be nice if there was something interesting to do for a maxed out character other than PvP and farming.
See question 15.

17. Q: My Barbarian is dualwielding two weapons – one with ligtning and one with cold damage – and scores critical hit with a skill (Leap Attack for instance), what is the effect of the crit – Stun, freeze or both?

This question I asked Jay specifically, and he gave an answer that I guessed but wanted to make sure of.

“The effect works based on what axe hits. The stats of each axe alternate on each hit. A lot of people weren’t getting this concept […] items can only carry one elemental damage modifier, so 2 handed weapons won’t have a problem determining the crit effect” – Jay Wilson

18. Q: Are there skills which could benefit more from use of 2-handers over dualwielding and vice versa?

I didn’t check, I didn’t play any melee characters. I would imagine “yes” as your passives will greatly determine such nuances in your character.

19. Q: What will the drop system be like, in terms of the rarity of useful items? Will they be common enough to find without too much grinding, or have low fractional percentage odds of dropping?

“It won’t be as bad as Diablo 2.” – Jay Wilson

You can also equate this to the fact that the Auction House will be region wide.

20. Q: What steps, if any have been taken to avoid standardized gear setups? Example: Every caster uses Shako, every non Sorceress uses Enigma.

Didn’t get this answered specifically, but I know they’d have said “dyes” and the hugely randomized system will be a big factor. I do have a relatively important quote that goes with this, though.

“We understand that there will be a saturation point of items. This will be an important part of why we will increase the number of available items. However, if we do announce that we will be making any changes in items, we will be letting people know far in advance – like 3 months or so – to save people from themselves. We don’t want somebody to spend a few hundred dollars on a character and drop in a line saying “Hey, by the way, tomorrow we’re changing everything.”

21. Q: How does the respec system work? (frequency of respecs/ease/costs/etc)

There are – get this – NO MORE RESPECS!

Why? Because there are no more skill points. Yes. That’s right. You unlock skills that will scale by level but once they unlock, they unlock permanently and can be swapped out at any time.

“We felt this was an important change because what we saw people doing was, in the early game mostly, they would put all their points in those low skills. But as soon as they got a better skill they would run back to town, respec, and dump all their points into that new skill. We didn’t think that was very fun and it was counter to the goals we had for the skill system. So we took out skill points and allowed people to swap skills at any time because what is what people were wanting, and it’s had a great response in our alpha testing.

22. Q: How will people navigate the world of sanctuary (interface/hub/etc.)?

They will navigate via the Stone of Recall or via Waypoints. Waypoints have a two-fold use as they are tied with checkpoints. Now only do they work like the waypoints in Diablo 2, but they can also warp you to the last checkpoint that you’ve reached. Personally, I felt this to be a little redundant because there were about 4 waypoints in just the beta.

23. Q: Will Artisans have an array of basic, innate recipes for items from level 1 through 60 or will the player be relying entirely on dropped recipes after a certain level?

Yes – my level 1 Artisan had 2 recipes when I got him. I also found a “Plan” as they call them which I could teach to my Artisan. There are also “Pages of Training” which, combined with resource materials, will level up your Artisan. Ii’m not sure how many pages you need, but you combine them to create a Tome of Training.

24. Q: Since there are no binding items, does the player have any real reason to level up the Artisans on multiple characters instead of just funneling all picked up recipes into a designated “crafter” character?

I really wish I had asked this. Logic says, no, there’s no real need to level an artisan on more than one character. Perhaps you’ll want to just for the novelty of it. I imagine that the early game it would be better to have multiple characters leveling them up and have them focused in certain aspects to increase pertinent item availability as you level up.

25. Q: How difficult is it to find or create top notch items? (on a scale from WoW to Diablo II to impossible, probably shouldn’t say this )

No information about end-game – including item finding and legendaries.

26. Q: Will items with randomized stats be able to get properties that are equal to or better than the best items with fixed stats for atleast some item slots/classes/speccs?

Theory says yes, this was answered previously. Something along the lines of the QA panel in Blizzcon ’10.

27. Q: Have any measures been taken in order to prevent bot activity in Diablo III?

“We will be updating Warden to catch bots and hackers.” – Rob Pardo

28. Q: Are there any new bracket types for PvP added other than 3v3 for the Arena?

No, but they have changed how PvP works. It’s now being tested for 4v4 – and instead of it being like a last man standing, it’s a team death match.
“We been testing the PvP arena with a maximum of 8 players, 4 players on each side. We felt that the last man standing style of PvP was much more of an eSport competition and it wasn’t as fun, because you had to wait until the round was over to respawn. Now when you die you will respawn after a short time to get right back into the fight. We didn’t want to make it feel like death was too much of a penalty, and people like this in our alpha testing a lot better. […] Matches are currently 10 minutes in length.”
Quite the departure from the fast-paced 2 minute arenas we saw before, right?

30. Q: Will there be any places that spawn mobs regularly forever?… Like a hole which always generates fallen every x seconds… or will the number of monsters per game be static.

Didn’t ask, but my thoughts are “no” – at least not in a really timely means. From my experience, there are places that trigger the spawning of enemies. After a while, when I came back to the place, more had spawned. However, the largest groups do not respawn, at least not that I noticed.

31. Q: Is a class with only 1st tier skills (but maxed out) viable? Conversely, is a class with only 7th tier skills viable?

Since you don’t max skills anymore, it seems like yes. There are no tiers anymore though either. It’s “tiered” based on progression and the level you attain them at, so I’ll rephrase the question. If we are to consider all skills gained between level 1-5 “tier one” – I would say yes, yes it is.

Example: the first DH skill is a bolt that seeks out enemies and does 150% damage and has an X% chance (I think it was 30%) to pierce the target. The skill was a bit bugged and looked funny, because the animation didn’t change direction if the bolt went to a new mob. But it acted and felt just like guided arrow – but on crack. Having an innate peirce attached to guided arrow was a bit OP.

Long story short: Yes, I think early tier skills can be viable.

32. Q: As there is a way of making Battle Wizards, I mean, there’s even a trait… Will there be viable ways of making Melee Demon Hunters? Or Ranged Barbs or Ranged Monks?

YES! And it’s funny that you ask this question. During the videos shown to us, they wanted to show off the versatility of runes. Guess what build they wanted to show off? You guessed it. The battle mage.

“I wouldn’t say that this build is optimal, and I wouldn’t recommend this build to another person, but we wanted to show that, even though it isn’t optimal, it’s viable. But really, that’s what makes Diablo III fun – because you don’t have to play with the optimal build. I would recommend the build, but it’s extremely popular in the communities. There are many ways to make the Battle Mage, but this is the way that I like to make them” -Jay Wilson
He progressed to rune Spectral Blade with an Indigo rune (I think) and it made it so the blades leached life.

He then put on frost nova, runed it so that when you hit the skill, instead of freezing targets, it leaves a chilling mist that lingers and slows enemies for a longer amount of time.

He then put in Storm Armor and runed it so that every time you are hit, it creates an electrical field around you.

And finally, he put in Diamond Skin – this time running it so that most of the damage that is received is reflected to the attacker, instead of mitigated.
Carnage ensued.

33. Q: Is there any form of diminishing returns in D3? How will they be handled with the different types of CC abilities in PvP? And will there be a convenience tool to track them?

“We aren’t using any form of diminishing returns. Instead we are going to tweak certain ‘snow’ lists. Each skill has a spreadsheet of all the factors that change it, and we’ll generally be avoiding diminishing returns through energy cost, duration, and cooldowns.” – Jay Wilson

36. Q: Will the Artisan’s leveling curve span only across Normal or will it unclude Nightmare and Hell too (more or less about how the artisans will appear in early NM/Hell and at the end of that difficulty), and approximately how much time and resources do we need to spend on them in order to hit the max level? And as a follow-up Do the all of the Artisans require/share the same resources for crafting and leveling? Basically, an information update on the Artisans. I would like to learn more about the Mystic and Jeweler though, some specifics on Enchanting perhaps.

They will be curved in the small demonstration showed. There was a previous question where I outlined the idea of Pages of Training combing to form Tome of Training and Plans for their new recipes.

When I played, I only encountered 2 pages of training. I assume it takes 5 to make a book. You will also need crafting mats AND gold to level up your artisan just once. So I think the curve will be well suited for your treck through sanctuary. Obviously, if you spend a long time farming low areas to get items to upgrade your Artisan, it’s plausible that you can, in theory, get more faster.

However, plans have an item level and item level is tied to enemy level for who can drop them, so it’s recommended you progress to gain full usefulness for your Artisan.

NOTE: I had no experience with the Mystic OR Jeweler. This suggests that it will be a HUGE time/money sink to upgrade them all fully.

37. Q: Is there any word on how the Talisman will make its come-back? And is it too optimistic to think that will see it implemented with a patch, instead with an expansion?

No, it’s not too optimistic.

“As of right now, Talismans are gone. […] We felt that in the future it would be a MAJOR part of an expansion. We always felt like the Talisman never got enough attention. The original ideas for it got whittled away until it just wasn’t something that was as cool as we had originally planned it to be.” – Jay Wilson

I then asked when they had originally planned it would be.
“I wouldn’t want to say since it could come back in a similar form.” –Jay Wilson

38. Q: Now that all classes can use shields, how will they be handled across classes?

So far we know that they won’t function like in D2 where they completely mitigated all incoming damage and if you played your cards well you could raise your shield block chance really high and become almost unhittable. And how will the balance between sword and board, dual wielding and using a two-handed weapon play out?
Didn’t ask L Sorry!

39. Q: Willpower how EXACTLY does it affect the different resources?

I’ll tell you how exactly it will affect other resources. It won’t. Because Willpower is out of the game!

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11 thoughts on “Blizzard answers your Diablo 3 UnicorNDA Questions

  1. It’s quite insane. I think the fact that you can make money playing this game might give you the feeling you’re not completely wasting time playing ^_^.

  2. I’m pissed off about the loss of actually building up a character through my gameplay. Now all characters are… a product of their level? How can I take pride in my character when it is identical to any other character? The only difference is what you equip — be it skills or items. My character is not based even one bit on what I did while leveling up. I had a lot of fun in D2 leveling up different character builds throughout the game. It lasted me years. D3 is soley an item find game; nothing else differentiates characters. Run through the game one time with each character and you are done with the core game forever…

    • You and me both.  At what point did it become fun to have absolutely no control over the outcome of our characters?  The game auto assigns our stat points, gives us access to all our skills and scales them to our level, and hell, we can even open up our wallets and buy all the best items.  So what’s the point in playing?

      With the current state of the game we might as well start off at level 60 too.  Why be bothered with leveling either when it can be done for us as well.

      Blizzard, I want to create and build my own character thank you very much.  And I want my decisions to matter.  Furthermore, I want to play in a game world where I have to play the game and earn my items, where everyone else also has to play by the same rules.  I want my character’s status to mean something.  But I’m sure this will fall of deaf ears and as such I won’t be buying your POS game.  Ten years of waiting.  What a sad ending.

  3. “We understand that there will be a saturation point of items. This will be an important part of why we will increase the number of available items.”
    Whaaat?  What does that mean, to increase the number of available items?  What did i miss, this sounds ridiculous.

    • To reply to myself, i think it might just be just bad wording, and what’s meant is adding new, more powerful items through expansions.

      Though that makes the rest of the answer unclear: ‘However, if we do announce that we will be making any changes in items, we will be letting people know far in advance – like 3 months or so – to save people from themselves. We don’t want somebody to spend a few hundred dollars on a character and drop in a line saying “Hey, by the way, tomorrow we’re changing everything.”’

      That doesn’t sound purely like expansions, tho it could be (and i hope that’s what it means).

      Related q/a from elsewhere:

      Q: As far as keeping the economy not stagnant and still exciting, one thing I notice about D2 is once I had my items, they never degraded, I was pretty much good to go; I never really needed to upgrade. I see that in a player-driven economy as kind of a big problem, because eventually prices will taper off and at some point, it’s not worth even putting my item on the AH because everyone has one. That leads to a lot of pressure, I think, on you guys having to create a lot of items and expansion sort of content so there’s new stuff. What is the plan for that?

      A: So the plan at release really comes back to the crafting system again. A lot of the crafting system is focused on pulling items out of the economy, so certainly the most highly-valued items people aren’t going to salvage, but everything slightly below that they are, which is going to drive a lot of items out of the economy. The enhancing system is actually one of the…basically our enhancing system kind of works like enchanting from WoW, but it has a random value to what you’re getting. So you input the enchantment, and let’s say it’s somewhere between 80-100 attack that it’s gonna give you. So if you roll 83, you could roll that again and you have a chance of getting a better number. You won’t get a lower one, and it might say “aww, you didn’t get any better.” But you can try over and over again and you need to essentially recycle items to do that. Eventually you’ll get to perfect, but you’ll really have to pull out a lot of items. And at that level, you’re really talking about rares and legendaries that you’re actually going to have to be melting to be able to do this. So we do have some systems in. Even so, there is going to hit a saturation point and what will we do about that? We have a bunch of ideas on how to deal with that, most of them do revolve around extending the item database at some point. Whatever we do, we’ll try to make sure that the player base has a lot of forecasting, like they will know long before we do anything what we’re going to do so that they can prepare. We don’t want people to go on the AH and spend basically $100 and then us change the item database the next day. We want them to know, in 3 months we’re changing the database “OK, well that gives me time to plan and think about what I want to do.” So we may not…it’s still up in the air. But it’s one of those things where we really want to see what happens to the economy and to a certain degree, we don’t know because we’ve never done something like this before.

  4. WTF “real money” auction house is real Oo … damn god this cant be true 🙁
    i mean come on please blizz tell me thats a hoax
    holy crap you can use all skills now .. every time (question 21) … dont really know what i should think about this
    (from the gameplay perspective)
    but just own 1 char of each class and got access to every skill sounds totally wrong to me
    long-time motivation anyone? … so players are only different by traits and dye now ?
    no more hard skill desicions ? .. planning a char was at least 4 me a big aspect wich makes diablo 2 so much fun
    oh man 🙁 …. iam looking forward to diablo 3 but i really hate these 2 changes
    i swallowed the pill that there are no stat points .. but also no skill points … dont know if i should take a headshot or just cry like a baby

  5. Surely this could be considered a form of gambling? You spend hours grinding to find a super item, then sell it for real money. I guess you can’t really lose money, but you lose time. People could get dangerously addicted to this…
    Other than that, I agree with Gensoul. Everyone will end-up just having one of each character max-levelled, with whom they can swap skills out willy-nilly to build whatever the ultimate item finding build is.

    • @CB – You control the character aspect yourself. I don’t think I’m the only one that made chars in Diablo 2 for a certain gearset more than for a skillset. My IK Barbarian was called MaceAce and I’d never equip anything but a mace type weapon on him – likewise, my Grandfather/Lightsaber dualwielding Barbarian was called Bladedancer and though they both had identical skill set-ups, they felt very unique due to weapon differences alone. I think it’s realistic to expect the same to be the case for Diablo 3.

  6. I swear Nizaris said yesterday that rushing was gated and that he would explain more today, but I didn’t see anything here. Maybe I missed it.

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