Gamestar interviewed Leonard Boyarsky, World Lead Designer, to talk about Diablo III‘s Rune system, Battle.net 2.0, Inventory and item management, random quests in a static outdoor world, and why all of the classes have unique, non-overlapping skills.
Not much is new in this interview, but it does help some fans that may have missed previous interviews to get a grasp and catch up on certain aspects of Diablo III. You can watch the video interview at the Gamestar website in English. Click through to read the transcript of the whole 6-minute interview.
Update by Flux: This interview is from BlizzCon 2008 back in October. So 1) bonus points to Gamestar for sitting on the footage for four months thus giving themselves a news burst now, and 2) no wonder there’s nothing “new” covered here. Also, the initial transcript didn’t include the last two questions, so I’ve added those in now.
Leonard: The synergy is basically emphasized with more than just one skill. That’s what we are basically doing with the rune system. And basically what it is you get random drops which was kind of like in first Diablo. We really wanted to get that random skill feeling back, without actually doing random skills. So you get these random drops and you can slot them in different skills, different spells, and they’re removable so it’s not like you’re stuck with it. You know, the fun of just touching the different realms of what they do.
Gamestar: What can the players expect from the new Battle.net? Will it remain free and will there be any concept of downloadable content?
Leonard: Basically what we’re doing with Battle.net we’re trying to make, we’re making – the best online gaming experience. We’re trying to reduce amount of unpleasantness, you know, in any form in a mobile playing experience co-op. There’s gonna be some form of PvP, you know, just really taking the amount of player experience very easily use, very fun.
A good example of that – you know, is ways of trading between characters. It’s very difficult for me to get something from one of my characters to another one of my characters while having it loaded into the same game.. We’re talking about things like that … um, we haven’t got the specifics yet.
In terms of the financial model, our ideal, our goal has always been to make the game first. You know, what?s going to make the best game? And then we?ll figure out what we need to do to support that on a financial model side. Obviously we understand what people want and don?t want from a financial model. As Blizzard always does, we?re going to take into account what people are looking for and we don?t ever want to feel like we?re ripping people off. We like to give a lot of value for whatever money it’s spent in on our games.
Gamestar: There was mention of quests and randomized adventures. I know the quest system in Diablo II was like a 6 quest per chapter set-up. Are we looking at something similar to that or will there actually be carry-over into the randomized adventures?
Leonard: It?s going to be different in a lot of ways. You can get random adventures as well as random quests. Some of them are very small. You know, you come upon a caravan that?s under attack and you save them. Or don?t save them. You can get quests that maybe chain together that are random. Besides that, you have side quests and story-arc quests and you don?t only get these quests in town. Before it was very split, you get your quests in town and you go out and do them.
Now you still get quests in town but you can have these random things happen out in the world. We?ve done a lot with the randomization in the outdoors. The randomization in the dungeons is still pretty much the same. The outdoors is statically built, so you know where the towns are and you know where the major things you need to know are, but we drop in random events, random little things.
One time you might find the caravan there, one time you might find nothing, another time you might find a monster encounter. We have this way of moving stuff around and using this things to kinda like build up the feeling of a living and changing world.
Gamestar: Inventory screens and item management. Losing the grid system. I?ve heard mentions of bags to increase storage space? What can you tell us?
Leonard:Once again, we?re just looking for the best gaming experience. Players in Diablo II spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to fit things into your inventory when it was a puzzle. That took away for a lot of us from the fun of running forward and getting into the action. We?re working with a lot of ideas, Jay?s talked about it in the panels. We have the same philosophy for everything else. We don?t want to get in your way of having fun. Whatever we can do to keep from getting in the way of the immediacy of the game we?re going to do.
Gamestar: We?ve seen a couple of the different character skills revealed. Wizard skills especially. In D2 there were 30 unique chars skills. Are there any that will be across different chars in D3?
Leonard:All the skills are specific per class. The characters all play very differently. Our goal for the different chars is that they have a different game play niche. We don?t want overlap; if we had that it would be like, “Do we need both of these? Can we combine them into one character?? There are a lot of different reasons. Replayabilty is really the cornerstone of the Diablo franchise. If you?ve played different chars in the build here, they play very differently, but their styles complement each other nicely. We have a whole whole raft of reasons for the differences. If there?s one skill everyone has access to that waters it down and makes it more generic.
Special thanks to Timolas, Gurtogg_Bloodboil and Xarthat (from ScrollsofLore) for helping to transcribe the video interview. And to pheX_2xT for the heads up.