In addition to some week-ending Twitter action, Bashiok dusted off his forum password and made a few replies to Diablo III questions in the B.net forum. First up, a prescient question given this week’s silence; one about his future job requirements.

    Bashiok, are you going to be a full-time community manager for Diablo 3 upon release or still split between all games?

    Bashiok: As much as I can. As much as we all can. You’ll certainly be getting to know the rest of the crew. They just tend to focus on WoW/SC2 for now.

    Elsewhere, a fan asked about DiabloWikispears for DiabloWikiBarbs.

    first off, will barbs make use of spears if they are in the game still? if so, what kind of crazy animations will he/she have with it?(basing this off the brutal dual wielding axes animation from the original gameplay vid… which still makes me salivate to this day)

    Bashiok: Dual-wielding spears as a barbarian is fun. DiabloWikiPolearms (2H) are a separate item class.

    Dual-wielding spears is possible since there are one-handed spears in D3. Think of them as un-throwable javelins, since there are no throwing weapons in D3. (Until the expansion.) I didn’t dual wield spears, but in a game at Blizzcon last year, my Barb found a rare 1H spear early on, which instantly turned his DiabloWikiCleave into a devastating, one-hit-kill attack. It was fun to use, and for a bit, while killing half a dozen small monsters with every swing, the Barb’s “most boring class at a low level” status was in danger. (A title the Barb also possessed in D2, showing that at least some game elements remain unchanged in the three-quel.)

    Finally, we’ve known about the DiabloWikiSalvage Cube since the DiabloWikiArtisans/DiabloWikiCrafting system was revealed last year, but all throughout Blizzard has been weirdly secretive about the proper name of the cube. This has led to some idle speculation, and a lot of slightly disgusting fan-christenings such as the Horadric Dumpster/Trash Compactor/Recycling Bin. Apparently it’s not just their usual secrecy for the sake of secrecy though; there’s an actual game info/plot/story-related reason they haven’t named D3’s Love Box.

    Here’s what a fan asked, followed by Bashiok’s reply. (I inserted a quote from the DiabloWiki blacksmith page, since it’s much more complete than the partial description included in the OP.)

    Horadric Cube = Salvage Cube?

    DiabloWikiHaedrig the Blacksmith was a young husband and father in DiabloWikiNew Tristram, when the fiery DiabloWikiMeteor crashed down through the DiabloWikiMonastery. In the chaos and demonic uprising that followed, his wife and child were slain, then returned to half-life as hideous DiabloWikizombies. Brokenhearted over their undead fate, Haedrig beseeches the hero to find them and destroy them, putting their souls to rest.

    Once the deed is done, Haedrig gifts the player with the Salvage Cube, as well as joining the DiabloWikiCaravan, out of a desire to help the player and to leave behind the scene of his tragedy. While with the Caravan, Haedrig puts his blacksmithing talents to their best use, assisting the hero in his trails and travails.

    Bashiok: It has a name. It is not Salvage Cube. The name does include Cube, though. The name is sort of a spoiler, which is why we haven’t revealed it yet.

    During an interview in 2010, Jay Wilson said, “It has a specific name and story, we aren’t revealing that quite yet.” The cube graphics have changed over time; it was a sort of treasure chest in the first view we had from the DiabloWikiArtisan Video, then was more of a puzzle box as seen in last year’s Blizzcon demo.  In the B.net thread a fan quoted a bit from one of the Diablo books which seems quite appropriate, given the way the cube looked in Blizzcon 2010.

    Kneeling before it, Mendeln estimated the dimensions. Just over the length of his foot on each side of the square base and, had he been standing, a hand?s breadth below his knee. The flat top was roughly half the dimensions of the base. In size alone, the stone carving should have been impossible to miss seeing.

    …The stone was black, but the markings glittered as if silver. That also fascinated him, for they did not appear to have been painted so. T]he skill with which the entire thing had been carved bespoke an artisan far more sophisticated than could be found in Seram or even in any of the larger settlements in the entire western region.

    Another fan claims that Jay Wilson called it the DiabloWikiNephalem Cube during the Blizzcon 2010 Open Q&A. (In the Diablo lore, the Nephalem were the first inhabitants of DiabloWikiSanctuary, children of an Angel called DiabloWikiInarius and a Demon called DiabloWikiLilith.) I don’t remember Jay saying that, but the repeated noob questions during that Q&A caused me to black out a few times, so it’s entirely possible. If someone is really bored and wants to watch the panel to confirm/get the actual quote, you will have our thanks. The whole thing is viewable via embedded YT movies on the appropriate wiki page.

    Would knowing that it’s called the “Nephalem Cube” really be a spoiler, though? It just seems like a name honoring one of the older elements of the game world/story/culture. Much like “Horadric” or “Vizjerei.” Now if it were called “The Tyrael’s Meteor-Charred Wings” cube, or “The Cain is Actually Belial in Disguise” cube, that would be a spoiler.

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