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    I’ve done individual news posts about all of Bashiok’s larger comments from his very busy Monday, but since he made numerous smaller posts as well, this update collects a bunch of the little ones that don’t need their own thread. (There were half a dozen other very short or no-new-info posts as well; if you want to see absolutely every Blue word, you can easily click through them via our Blue Tracker site.)

    A fan pointed out some missing sounds and other imperfections in the new gameplay footage, and earned a tart retort from Bashiok.

    It’s almost like it’s a game that’s pre-release.

    A fan complained about the “muddy” looking graphics in the new gameplay movie, and got a rebuttal.

    Hrm. Try http://www.youtube.com/user/Diablo3Inc?feature=mhee#p/a/u/1/KjkNpBYEK1M and bump it to 720p through the dropdown. The game itself hasn’t changed so I’d suspect video compression would be the culprit.

    Prior to UnicorNDAy, I’d teased about what seemed an outrageous retcon, that the DiabloWikiDark Wanderer was now going to be DiabloWikiKing Leoric‘s son, Prince Albrecht. Thankfully, my info was slightly off. The Dark Wanderer is still the DiabloWikiWarrior, he’s just got a new family relation to Leoric. He’s a long lost older brother.

    The change, I believe (and I still need to follow up on this) is simply naming the Warrior character as Leoric’s son. Which, lore-wise, isn’t much of a retcon, just giving the Warrior a specific name and origin.

    A fan asked about the Activision/Blizzard conference call coming up later this week. Sadly, he didn’t say anything to get Bashiok to drop hints about whether we’ll get a beta start date announcement or not.

    Here ya go! http://investor.activision.com/events.cfm

    I believe it’s open for anyone to listen in? I find the vast majority of it to be insanely boring though. I always recommend people hit up fansites/news sites shortly afterward – which looks to be 1:30 pm PDT August 3 – for coverage instead of listening. Unfortunately I am not able to indulge in such luxuries…

    A fan asked some good questions about the exploit issues of D3’s freespecs, in terms of traits (or whatever they’re called now). Bashiok launched his usual defense. (Since Bashiok clearly can’t be in total agreement with every D3 design decision, I always wonder which issues he’s completely lying about, with his usual enthusiastic defenses. I wonder if those are harder to write?)

    If we can swap in passives at any time, and we e.g. still have magic find or gold find traits, then it would become standard to activate the magic/gold find passive when slaying a boss monster.

    Also, I don’t know if the gameplay suffers if passives are totally free to swap at any time. If you are badly damaged e.g., and have a faster run trait, you might want to swap it in to get away from mobs.

    Solution might be that passive swapping is only allowed in town or so. Active swapping should be available all the time, because that is what Blizzard is intending, no?

    Bashiok: We don’t want skill/passive switching to be a meta game, but we want to make sure when someone just leveled up in the field they can try out a new skill they unlocked.

    Right now we’re thinking no swaps in boss fights or the arena will be enough, but we’re still taking a wait and see.

    I kind of like the idea of making it difficulty restricted. No swapping outside of town in Nightmare/Hell. But maybe that just makes people jet back to town more to swap out and it drags out play sessions? I don’t know. I’m kind of back and forth on it. (note: I do not make these decisions)

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