G4TV has posted a video interview with Jay Wilson from Blizzcon, It’s a little overproduced with lots of edits and gameplay footage spliced in constantly, but after a slow start with panel info recap about the characters, it picks up speed. The last half is excellent, with new info and explanations about skills, Runestones, Traits, the Talisman, and more. I transcribed a bit, which you can read below.
Click the embed to watch the whole thing yourself.
What we found as we were developing runes was that we wanted to do lots of crazy stuff with them. When you take Magic Missile and you put in the multistrike rune and it splits into multiple missiles, that makes sense. but when you look at a skill like Zombie Charger; it’s a disintegrating acid zombie that runs at the enemy, how do you fit zombie bears into that? which is one of the skills we really wanted to do. A big stampede of zombie bears! We couldn’t figure out which Runestone worked with that. So we changed them to be a bit more general. They still have labels that sort of imply what they do; the Crimson rune tends to be more damage focused. The Indigo rune tends to be more multishot. But if we ever need to break the rules to get more what we want, we can.
We couldn’t show them last year since we didn’t have enough skills in place, but now we do.
…We wanted more customization, and we wanted customization that really spoke to the idea that, ‘I’m going to roleplay my character and focus in one area.’ Skills are really awesome, but when players think of who they are as a character, they don’t tend to think of, “I like to Whirlwind.’ They’ll use Whirlwind with their Barbarian, but it’s not how they define themselves. They think, ‘I’m a Barbarian who’s exceptionally strong or exceptionally tough!’ And that’s what traits are. The affect the core attributes of your character to let you customize and expand them.
For the Barbarian a we can focus on Inner Rage, which really defines who he is. For the Wizard we can focus on something more magical in nature. So it’s a great oppotunity to tell the player more about their character.