Blizzard on Wizards, Mana, and Instability - Diabloii.Net

Blizzard on Wizards, Mana, and Instability


Bashiok is back from PAX East and he found time to make a couple of replies (update, added 2 more the next day) in a thread about the resource system the Witch Doctor and Wizard will use in Diablo 3.

Please give the Witch Doctors a Voodoo power source and let Wizards have Mana!

Mana belongs to Wizards, that’s just not a convention you mess with.

We still don’t feel mana fits the feel of the wizard class, and making the wizard use mana to match some definition a magic wielder from some other game from some other decade would be shoehorning mechanics for the sake of nostalgia.

We’re using the instability system for the wizard because it makes sense to the style of the class; thematically as well as mechanically. If mana filled those requirements we’d use it, but it doesn’t.

I don’t want to sound like we’re being dismissive. As everyone should be aware we work iteratively and the main reason why we haven’t revealed a lot about instability is that it still hasn’t been proven. If it turns out it doesn’t work we’ll try something else. It may be that mana just works the best and we end up going with that, but right now we’re trying something.

since when do wizards a caster/magic user class since the beginning of any and every game that uses them not use some sort of mana/spell point system.. sounds like youre trying to make up your own thing.

Bashiok: In D&D the magic-user/wizard cast spells through use of reagents, hand gestures, and recitation. No mention of mana, and you could certainly assume that D&D is the basis for much of what the original Diablo was founded on. Like most fantasy RPGs.

wizards use mana… they just do

Bashiok: Met a lot of wizards then, have you?

Argument about this issue at this point is purely conjectural, since no one but outside of the Diablo 3 team has played a DiabloWikiWizard with DiabloWikiInstability; it was not yet in the game at last year’s BlizzCon. What we know about the system comes largely from what Jay Wilson told us last October—Instability is a system that will work with and enhance the glass cannon style of play mages have utilized throughout the Diablo series. Click through to see Jay’s quote, or just refer to the Instability page in the wiki, where all relevant Blizzard comments are archived.

Personally, I’m in a “wait and see” mode about Instability. As fans of the series know, mana became largely irrelevant to mages come the DiabloWikiend game of both Diablo 1 and Diablo 2. In D1 it was an annoyance Sorcerers dealt with by completely filling the inventory with mana pots, while D2 *improved* on that by adding Warmth and other sources of mana regen that enabled almost every build of Sorc to ignore mana entirely.

The concept in D3 is to give the characters resources that actually impact their game play. Mana was meaningless to the behavior of high level characters in D2, which is why D3 is incorporating other types of resources, such as DiabloWikiFury for DiabloWikiBarbarians, and Instability for Sorcs Wizards. I like the idea of a Wizard resource that will effect game play on a deeper level than “wear some gear that adds mana,” and I’m curious to see how it works in practice. So, painful though it is to admit, I agree with Bashiok. It would be silly to use mana again just because D1 and D2 did. Especially since mana was irrelevant to the actual gameplay.

What do you guys think? Is mana just what mages *should* use, and changes to that are wrong? Do you think Instability is a great idea to change up a stagnant gameplay element? Or are you content to wait for some actual details about Insta before you leap into the debate?

Jay Wilson, October 2009, Diii.net interview:

Well for the Wizard we want to enforce the fact that she?s a glass cannon. I don?t think it?s fun to ever run out of mana. I?m not really interested in an extended resource for her. For the WD we?re okay with mana, since he?s got some pretty good skills to recover mana that also double as attacks. And he?s not defenseless when he?s out of mana. He?s got pets and ways to attack with them that aren?t mana intensive. For him that makes mana fairly interesting.

For the wizard, when she?s out of mana she just dies. And that?s not fun. So if anything, we want to encourage how she plays. So she?s the kind of character that blasts first and asks questions later. Very vulnerable. So we want to implement a system that makes her more blasty, but even more vulnerable. We want to make that a choice for the player. “Do I want to make myself more vulnerable in exchange for being more blasty.” And that?s a cool gameplay pull there.

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  1. Looks like the stitchings on the X-treme gamer blanket unfortunately. bit of a lame april fools joke ;(

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