Blizzard on Cookie Cutters, System Reqs, and ID Scrolls


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 DiabloWikisystem 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 haven’t announced specs and I wouldn’t be able to guess how it could run for you, but yes, I run it on my 30″ at home at 2560. It is glorious.


We know that Diablo III will run on PC and Mac, but will the beta?

The Diablo III beta will be available for both Mac and PC platforms. And post-it flipbooks, depending on your drawing skills.

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.

We still have scrolls of identify, and they stack pretty high so we don’t have any need to go the tome route. We reserve the need to identify items to rares and legendaries, and it’s not as common as it was in Diablo II to have to identify something. We kept identification because we like that it’s a different moment of discovery than simply seeing what drops, and it helps break up the action.

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 DiabloWikirunestones 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.

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.

Personally, I think we’ll see a LOT of builds, though some of that depends on how DiabloWikifreespecs and DiabloWikirunestones 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 DiabloWikiThe 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 DiabloWikiattributes and DiabloWikicharms and DiabloWikiitems. 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:

So Due to Rare items being best items in the game and everything is randomized. Plus No more skill points. Will there be anymore builds for these classes besides the common sense obvious ones?

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.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Hardware & Tech

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  1. I expect high-level rubies to be the currency of choice for HC characters.
    That was kind of my plan for early after release; just stocking up on rubies and transmuting them/selling them.

    • Sell them how? Third party site? HC characters have no access to the RMAH. Not sure if they have access to the gold AH though.

      • They will have access to the regular auction house, just not the real-money one.

      • Y’know that the world doesn’t revolve around RMT, and I’m perfectly happy selling for gold or even *gasp* trading. :p
        And yes, they have their own exclusive HC gold AH. It makes my manly parts tingle to know that I can play HC without RMAH.

        • They said that HC can’t use the RMAH, don’t think they’ve ever said they’d get their own gold AH seperate from the regular gold AH…

          • that’s just a given, though. HC and SC chars can’t mix nor can their economies.

          • Can Hardcore-mode characters use the currency-based auction house?

            No. Hardcore characters will only have the option to buy and sell items together with other Hardcore characters via a separate “Hardcore-only” gold-based auction house; they will not be able to use the currency-based auction house. Hardcore mode is designed as an optional experience for players who enjoy the sense of constant peril that comes with the possibility of permanent death for a character. All of a Hardcore character’s items are forever lost upon that character’s death, so to avoid the risk of a player spending real money on items that could then be permanently lost when the character dies, we decided restrict the use of the currency-based auction house in Hardcore mode.

            http://www.diablowiki.net/Auction_House_FAQ

  2. I have a question for the team… Has Cain gotten so old and senile that he doen’t identify stuff anymore?

  3. what about that medallion thing? would it allow us to mess with the stats as a charm exclusive inventory?
    i don’t even know if it is still in the game

    edit*

    ops ,it was called talisman ,that explain why i couldn’t find anything about it before and its not on the game anymore :\

    meh i liked the idea

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  5. screw the mac hope blizzard isnt holding back cuz of that crappy operating system

  6. I lvoe eating peanut butter crackers i play beta in my whity tighties

  7. I don’t think it should be called “builds” anymore.  Its more like skill “choices” now.  A “build” sounds like it needed a thought process.

  8. This new skill system is great. I am sure there will be much more viable build in D3 than D2 but there should some limit for respecing on higher difficulty too.

    • Yea the “free-on-the-fly” respec mechanic just feels so fundamental wrong. They shuld atleast gimp it in someway after normal difficult. Make it cost gold, atleast.

  9. I prefer to have to ID my magics and rares as it was in D2 =). Many people never picked these up and it was awesome to pick up some “junk”, id it, and get something good all of a sudden :O. Well, good, relatively speaking :P.
     
    But then again, since D3 doesn’t have item-grabbing-contests, it probably doesn’t really make a difference now.

  10. Also, I love this (except, I would argue that everyone’s grandma is aware that D2 is riddled with cheaters):
    “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.”

  11. With all these possibilities i hope there is a switch spec button or a save spec button… so we can switch between different things … mfing spec, grinding spec, aoe spec, pvp spec etc…

  12. The one thing that worries me, is that because you are allowed to switch out your skills as you see fit, with no cost, that any “build”, (if there ARE even separate builds anymore) will feel meaningless. Unless I’m missing something, doesn’t this now mean that every class really only has 1 build, which you alter slightly back and forth as your needing certain skills for certain situations. It feels like there is a loss of identity of we are given THAT much freedom. Is it not the skill permanence that sets us apart?

    I realize we have runes and gear that will help with that, but skills to me are still a high priority in terms of feeling unique. Maybe I’m wrong about all this, and I certainly welcome being wrong, I just kinda feel like we’ve lost some individuality here.

  13. Why do most people think that builds in Diablo 3 are solely based on your skill choices?

    If you haven’t noticed until now, Blizzard has created the most versatile “build system” ever: based on items.
    A build in D3 consists of 3 things: Skill choice + runes  + gear. (In the future add “+ talisman” to that equation)
    Simply choosing 6 skills will do you NO good if you don’t find the right runes AND gear to customize your attributes and support your skill choices.

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  15. Innovative class system allows uncountable possible specializations. True, inevitably there will end up being a few cookie cutter specs, but there are enough different role slots that you could have one “cookie cutter” spec used for min/maxing and others ued for fun or “gimmick” roles.

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