Much has been posted about the first Diablo 3 panel from this year’s Blizzcon, which focused on the Heroes and Monsters. There are videos of the panel, and much has been written about the Monk info. There was some good stuff on other character spells, and on monster design as well. After all of that though, the last 10 minutes were devoted to questions from the audience, and of that I’ve seen zero coverage. It’s not included in the videos on YouTube, and if some site has posted the transcript, I’ve never seen it in my endless news searching…. which means it probably doesn’t exist.

    So, since I’ve been typing up all of my BlizzCon notes in preparation for some info bombs and intensive wiki updates, and I had notes on this session, here they are. These Q&As were reconstructed from my notes, and are not exact quotes. I’ve substantially shortened the often rambling questions, but reproduced the answers at full length, and I think this provides a fair summary of what Jay Wilson and the other devs said. Issues covered include Singer Barbarians, item crafting, boss farming, magic find, the larger stash, and more. Here are the first two questions; click through to read the whole session.

    Diablo 3 Audience Q&A

    Question: I was a big fan of the Amazon in Diablo 2, and I’m wondering if we’ll see her return? Or perhaps the Rogue from Diablo?
    Answer: No comment. You’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

    Question: Will we see the Horadric Cube in Diablo 3? Or some other form of item crafting?
    Answer: There were good and bad elements to the Horadric Cube. We liked that it gave players some control over item creation, but we didn’t like the fact that the recipes were hidden. Players shouldn’t have to check websites to find how to use the features in the game. We’re going to include ways for players to improve their items, but we’re not ready to give details about those yet.

    Question: I was a fan of Singer Barbarians in Diablo 2. Will we see builds like that possible with the Barbarian in Diablo 3?
    Answer: (Some initial confusion due to the questioner’s accent and about what he meant with the question.) Oh, you mean a Barbarian with offensive warcries? We don’t have any of those in the game now, but it’s something we’ll consider.

    Question: What sort of weapons can the Monk use? Just a staff?
    Answer: In our early Monk design we had him empty handed, but we soon realized that weapons just make things more fun. Characters in Diablo are defined by their weapons. The Monk now uses staves, and his animations are all tied to that. He has a lot of sweeping motions with the staff, and when he uses fist weapons he changes entirely, using punching attacks. We’re not sure how the Monk’s weaponry will work eventually, but we might have him using fewer weapons than some of the other characters, but have his weapons make a bigger effect upon his performance.

    Question: How dark is Diablo 3 going to be? Horror influences?
    Answer: (Some confusion over the question, since it was somewhat unclear if the guy was referring to actual darkness, like art direction, or darkness in a thematic sense.) Oh, you mean dark as in mood and theme? Yes, we think Diablo 3 will be very dark and full of horror influences. We can’t talk about everything yet, but if you look at the situation in Alcarnus in the demo playable here at the show, you’ll see a total massacre. The town completely defiled. That’s just a sample of the sort of thing we’re aiming for with Diablo 3.

    Question: I have a question about the Monk’s control system. On the combo attacks. Can you just keep doing them at stage one, without moving on to stage two and three?
    Answer: Yes. The moves activate on timers, and if you don’t click the mouse again quickly enough, the second stage won’t be activated. Right now we’ve got the timer set to 0.6 seconds, I believe, and a player can reset the timer any time they want by pausing.

    Question: I have a question about item farming from bosses. Baal runs. Will that sort of play be supported in Diablo 3?
    Answer: We want to allow a wide variety of play styles in Diablo 3. Players will always do what grants the best reward, and bosses have the best items. In the Diablo 2 end game, there was one right answer. No variety.  In Diablo 3 we’re looking at doing something more like World of Warcraft, where there are a lot of quests for players to do. That diversifies the end game content. Players do “runs,” but different ones. We can’t give details yet.  Furthermore, the end game equipment goals will be more varied, and more strategic. It won’t be just about adding more hps/damage.

    Question: Will we see mercenaries, like there were in Diablo 2?
    Answer:  No comment yet. But if I were going to comment, I’d point out that the mercenaries in Diablo 2 were a great idea, and that if we had them in Diablo 3 we’d want to expand on the concept!

    Question: Will magic find return?
    Answer: Yes. It’s in the game now, and we’re definitely going to support magic find and gold find. We’re thinking about things like ways to find specific items. Something like gem find, or rune find, etc. Also, everyone in Diablo 2 played the Sorceress since she was so good at magic finding since she didn’t need other equipment bonuses. We’re looking to avoid that sort of situation in Diablo 3, by making equipment more necessary to survival and success.

    Question: I’m wondering if we’ll still need a lot of mules to hold items? Will the stash be larger in Diablo 3?
    Answer: Gigantic stash! Bigger. And we weren’t happy with the methods required to self transfer items in Diablo 2. We’d like players to be able to share items through the stash, or maybe by email. Like most of our other systems, we’ve got a lot of ideas and we’re working on it, but we can’t make any final comment yet.

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