Perhaps eager to take some of the load while the *cough* leading Diablo 3 site was offline, Bashiok was busy in the forums on Friday.

    A fan asked if all of the Witch Doctor’s pets could be zombies. Bashiok planted tongue firmly in cheek and fully embraced the idea.

    Witch doctor is now called Zombie Doctor. He has taken the hippocampus oath (the most delicious part of the brain) and sworn to protect the purity of rotting dudes. Gameplay has changed, he now spends time summoning, and then running around and bandaging all of his minions to keep them from dying as they slowly take damage at all times. He is unable to inflict any direct damage himself. He’s also a zombie.

    Elsewhere, a fan brought up the common argument about being able to boot players from games, which Bashiok replied to with an intellectual challenge.

    I’d like to hear some ways you could abuse/grief in a multiplayer Diablo III game.

    I’m not saying there’s no plausible way to do it, there’s always a way to grief, I’m just curious.

    And let’s exclude completely unknown variables like a hack or cheat.

    Another fan brought up an issue we put On the Drawing Board some months ago; complimentary party skills. Bashiok answers humorously and doesn’t point out that Auras are returning in Diablo 3, before FriskyDingo steals the thread (like a baby), and the conversation turns to another familiar subject; assumed class gender roles.

    In diablo 3, will every class have some kind of party buff? For example, the barbarian has shouts to help his buddies increase their attack power, health, etc. If so, could anyone provide any information on that, possibly telling us some of them?
    Bashiok: Well… they all love each other. Isn’t that enough?

    What does everyone see the “main” sex of each class as at this moment.. for me it is which was released first.. Most Barbs should be Male.. Witchdoctors should be Male.. Wizards should be Female.. Monks Male.. I know that doesnt make much sense but *shrug*

    Bashiok: Well we obviously present some of the class/gender combination and push them through our announcements. Some of that is development time, and some of that is helping to drive a clear marketing message forward.  So seeing the female wizard as the main choice or the male monk is pretty obvious because little (or none) has been seen of their counterparts. But we understand that and don’t necessarily intend to hide the other gender options, and plan to take some steps to make the whole family a bit more visible.

    Elsewhere, Bashiok replied to a rare thank you note, from a fan who thinks he’s doing a far better job managing the Diablo 3 community than the Starcraft 2 CMs are. Bashiok replied by calling himself a forum whore and that there’s really nothing more to say about SC2 until the beta is announced That one’s quoted below the fold:

    Thanks for not turning the D3 community into what the SC2 Community is right now. a rage fest due to a poor dev cycle.
    Bashiok: That has nothing to do with public relations or community management. We work on our games until they’re at a point where we’re happy with them and feel comfortable releasing them out into the world. It’s not a new concept for us but obviously we have a lot of fans who haven’t quite experienced the Blizzard development cycle first hand.

    The “rage fest” is simply passionate people just wanting to play the game. And as much as we can appreciate them, and as much as we can apologize, and as much as we can ask them to just hold on because it’ll all be worth it… there’s really nothing that can be done to satisfy it except give them the game to play. And so sometimes you have to know when to shut up and just let actions speak for themselves.

    But no one will remember that it was late, only that it was a great game. And we will absolutely do whatever is necessary to make sure Diablo III is a great game, just as we are with StarCraft II.

    The main complaint right now in the SC2 community is the lack of any form of contact or updates. It’s just sad. This thread wouldn’t of even had a reply in the SC2 forums, hence why it was posted here.

    Bashiok: To be fair I’m kind of a forum !*#@% (*cough* lady of the night) so it’s not really a fair comparison. I enjoy standing on the cross streets of sarcasm and troll and peddle my wares. Not everyone indulges in these skills, nor should they. We need some of the populace to be able to pay their car registration on time and have savings accounts lest it all come crashing down around us.

    But as I said there’s a point where it’s a good time to just be quiet and let actions speak for themselves. There’s really nothing more that can be said about StarCraft II at this point until a “download beta” link lights up somewhere.

    Someone should print this out and frame it on Bashiok’s wall, since in the not so distant past (and assuredly in the future) fans have savaged Bashiok for not posting often enough, not sharing enough info, never updating the official site, etc. At those times, I imagine Bashiok takes comfort in the words of Abraham Lincoln. Or perhaps Richard Needham.

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