We saw a variety of useful game info tweets from @Diablo on Thursday, mixed in with more of the joking hashtag stuff. I’m not going to rate the “newness” of them since we’re getting more and more readers new to Diablo III every day, with maybe-sorta-sometime-soon Diablo 3 Beta anticipation building. So I’ll just quote the ones that relayed useful info without worrying overmuch about how long that info has already been in the public sphere.
One interesting phenomena of late is Bashiok‘s growing dissatisfaction with the 140 character limit of Twitter. More and more often, fans are receiving 2 or 3 tweets in reply to questions, since just one isn’t enough to provide a usefully-nuanced answer, and Bashiok’s big forum post about random dungeon level design was entirely spurred by the impossibility of adequately addressing the question via Twitter. I wonder if he’d even bother to tweet game info at all, if he weren’t driven to it by Blizzard PR’s ever-expanding efforts to advertise their products to casual gamers via social media?
They’re on timers right now, which actually makes for interesting gameplay. If they were random you’d probably hover there.—Diablo
With set timers you can go off and game people a little more knowing that they won’t spawn again for X time.—Diablo
Wouldn’t random location spawns mixed with random spawn timers create an even more diverse playstyle and gameplay?—Scyberdragon
Randomness undermines some of the competitive nature of the arenas. You could “get lucky” with health globe spawns and win.—Diablo
Will there be Synergys in Diablo 3 as there were in Diablo 2? IE, putting points in Firebolt to make Fireball do more damage.—NstnctGaming
Synergies were added in Diablo II (in 1.10) to spread out point spending and curb point hoarding. But had their own problems.—Diablo
The skill trees in Diablo III are far more open, you don’t have to spend down a linear tree. And passives are their own system—Diablo
Couple that with runestones, and we don’t think there will be any need in Diablo III to bribe people with synergies.—Diablo
Traits are by their nature passive synergies in many ways, but no, skills do not ‘synergize’ with one another directly.—Diablo
Health orbs were on timers during the Blizzcon PvP demo last year, with all 4 of them appearing 30 seconds after a match began. Players learned to anticipate them after some play time, and often tried to be in the area when they spawned. The globes made a big difference in matches that were still competitive, since whoever got most/all of the orbs usually won. More often though, they were just dessert for the team that was already winning, since that team usually had command of the center of the Arena while the survivor(s) of the losing team were busy ducking and dodging Disintegrate beams around the perimeter, and in no position to scoot through the middle and grab the orbs.
Wizards were the quickest to get them thanks to Teleport. Leap Attack was nearly as fast a movement skill, and could travel over the pits around the middle of the map, but 1) it had a slower recovery time upon landing, and 2) the Barbs were usually already dead by 30 seconds into the match, while the remaining Witch Doctors and Wizards sniped at each other with ranged attacks.
Finally, @Diablo plugged a cute YouTube video that summarizes the Diablo I game plot in just one minute.