Several Blue forum posts of late that aren’t exactly ground-breaking, but that contained some info worth reading, all found easily thanks to our upgraded Blizzard Blues Tracker.
A fan asked about system requirements and of course got no reply to that, though Bashiok did confirm that D3 will scale up to impressive resolutions. (Which we already knew since many of the recent screenshots have come in at 2560×1440.)
We know that Diablo III will run on PC and Mac, but will the beta?
Thanks bashiok. But the key word I haven’t been seeing is simultaneously? I know it will come like it did in the starcraft 2 beta, but is it going to drop the same day the pc beta is released?
Bashiok: Simultaneous. They both exist right this second.
Now, something could break and the mac build goes crazy and we have to do a series of roundhouses to fix it, but as of this moment, yes our intent is a simultaneous test on both platforms.
Bashiok also replied to a question about identifying items.
It’s unclear from Bashiok’s wording, but blue/magical items in Diablo III do not need to be ID’ed. They are found with the mods already revealed, as we know thanks to this Jason Bender interview from Gamescom.
Finally, a fan who doesn’t seem to have heard about runestones asks if there will be cookie cutter builds in Diablo III, since everyone can change to whatever works best at any time. Since Bashiok’s reply covers a lot of ground, here’s an excerpt. Click through for the whole five paragraph WoT.
Personally, I think we’ll see a LOT of builds, though some of that depends on how freespecs and runestones are handled at higher levels. If we get some sort of system where runestones are indeed “attuned” to a particular skill, then changing your skills (and the supporting equipment) around for various situations will be impractical (rather than just inconvenient), as the current freespec system is designed to be. In that case, players will need builds and specialization, since we won’t be able to exploit the system by switching our skills after every level or before every big boss fight.
In any event, players will want to specialize for various things, with various skills and especially with runestones. It’ll turn out that skill X with runestone Y is the best thing to use when doing Diablo runs with class Z, so people will do that. Other skill/rune/item combinations will be better for other areas of the game, and if Inferno is at all “flat” in difficulty, then people will have different builds for all different areas, or more general builds for doing a variety of activities.
Something we were talking about on The Diablo Podcast we recorded today (All about Hardcore; it’ll be posted early this week.) is how much difference we might see between SC and HC builds. There was little to no difference between them in D2, in terms of skills; HC chars just tended to have more Vitality, more hps charms, more resistance, etc. But little to none of that came from skills; it was all from attributes and charms and items. And since D3 removed manual-attributes and charms… HC chars will have to use skills (active and passive) + runes, as well as items, to make up the difference. Which might lead to some very different skill and rune choices.
Here’s the cookie-cutter build question and Bashiok’s full reply re: more cookie cutters:
Like.. we already know you cna choose 6 skills… You cant really say anything like “Oh for the monk you should use those 6…” because the skills are always changing and used for different things the way you like to play.
You cant say anything about item builds except. “Crit build, Magic Find Build, Speed build..
Because those would be really hard to build since you would need to find like super awesome items with the stats your looking for anyway. Which may take forever.
Skill tree builds are out of the question now. Stat builds? Or are they auto now? What kind of cookie cutters do you see happening besides obvious ones that can be figured out anyway without needing to look at a website?
Bashiok: There will always be customization choices that are considered ideal over others as long as choice exists. Our goal is simply to have as many choices as possible be viable.
In Diablo II you ran into situations where if you didn’t build your character correctly, you could pretty much assure yourself you wouldn’t be able to solo the later difficulties. With no respecs it meant you had to start over from scratch. In a game like World of Warcraft it’s a much different situation simply because of the type of game it is. Where high-end eSports and world-first boss kills drive the higher end of that game, and groups of players have to work together in a finely tuned coordination to do well, class roles and builds have to be super tight and specifically balanced. Diablo is just a much looser game. Everyone is DPS. Everyone is kicking [email protected]#. We hope the arenas will be fun but there’s no ladder, it’s a personal ranking system, and so the more ‘fun’-based PvP allows for a lot of unbalanced experimentation.
One other factor most people don’t readily recognize or maybe even know about was the amount of hacking that happened in Diablo II, and how items that should have existed in the hands of a couple people in the entire world were duplicated to the point that everyone could have one. ‘Cookie-cutter’ builds that became most popular in Diablo II were many times supported by items that should have been so rare that no one could ever call the builds that required them ‘cookie-cutter’. So avoiding that situation again is of course at the top of our security priorities. All the knowledge of thwarting hacks and cheats we’ve gained since then, building Diablo III from the ground up with that knowledge, having our dedicated customer support, hack, and fraud prevention groups and infrastructure already in place, being able to react quickly through live game updates, and the strict client/server architecture we’re using in Diablo III all work toward preventing those situations and others.
Back to the advantage of experimentation in Diablo III – skill choices aren’t permanent. It allows a lot more freedom for the player that if they’re just consistently dying they can look at the skills and passives they’re using, swap it up, salvage a few things and craft some nicer items to equip, and maybe do a bit better. Or they can completely mix up everything and change how they fundamentally play their class to attack the situation in a different way. Not only do you have your skill list, but of course each skill can be altered with the five different skill runes, in most cases completely altering what the skill does.
So anyway, we’re just looking to make sure that more builds are viable. People will say ‘this is the best’, but if a bunch of other people can say ‘no, this is the best’, and there’s a debate, then we’re rockin’. That disagreement means we’re doing good and it’s a choice and not a mandate on how you play your character. How that ultimately shakes out, we honestly don’t know. We can’t know until we get it into your hands and see what crazy things you try we never even thought of, but our ability to support the game quickly, react to imbalance, and sometimes even change the game live while it’s running through hotfixes is something we just didn’t have the ability to do back in the day.
For many, the fun in a Diablo game is creating a build that shouldn’t work and finding ways to offset the weaknesses so that it does. Coming up with the next great build, or simply defying the laws of what people believe should be possible with a class. It’s exciting. And sometimes terrifying.