With all the new info from Gamescom we’ve updated a bunch of articles in the wiki, including comprehensive pages on things like the Crusader, and the upcoming big system changes to Loot 2.0, and Paragon 2.0. An article with more of a historical pedigree is the Mystic, which is freshly renovated, but with an eye to her original roots as well.
All the new info about the NPC Artisan is on the page, but while updating it I found the archived info very interesting. If you remember, the Mystic (her full name is Myriam Jahzia) was introduced along with the Blacksmith and the Jeweler back at Gamescom 2010. The Artisans looked the same back then, but they were very different in function; just check out this quote from Blizzard’s Artisan FAQ, which reads like a roll call of abandoned Diablo 3 features:
The Mystic was to craft the mage-type weapons (staves and wands, back when staves were exclusively mage items) before all armor/weapon crafting was moved to the Smith, while most of those other ancient features were removed or baked into the characters as inherent abilities. That’s part of the reason the Mystic was scrapped during later development, since she wasn’t really doing anything that other game features didn’t also do.
She remained alive in the game code though, and not just as that really slow-walking NPC you save from the spider web in the Chamber of Quyeen Araneae midway through Act One. She was there for players to datamine in the Diablo 3 beta, and from that we got screenshots of her wagon in town, videos of her speaking about quests, and even some shots of her interface and what sort of imbues she was capable of creating, and they were nothing like the “replace one affix” (and TRANSMOG) purpose she’ll serve in the expansion pack.
Click through for pics, videos, and details on her imbue talents from earlier in development, all taken from the Mystic article in DiabloWiki.net.
The Mystic’s Wagon in the Towns
The Mystic is still in the game; she’s that NPC in the spiderweb, and the Trailing the Coven quest she gives you, to find her broken wagon in the Southern Highlands, was to be her introductory quest. In the game now you simply find the wagon and move on, but in the earlier design (and probably in RoS) you would have repaired her wagon and then the Mystic would have joined you in Tristram.
There’s space for her in all three towns in D3C; as you can see in datamined screens below. The Act two and Act three shots even show comparisons of different levels of her wagon. These pics are from datamining the beta client and from Blizzcon 2011 panel presentations.
The Mystic’s Early Abilities
Her early planned abilities were very different than what she’ll do in Reaper of Souls. There was no Transmog considered in the game pre-release, at least not via the Mystic, but she handled crafting charms which were used in the Talisman, which was also scrapped pre-release. It may return someday, but no hint has been given of it yet.
The Mystic was also to craft wands and staves, create scrolls and potions, and Identify items. She could also craft and salvage skill runes, though that interface wasn’t functional enough to even get a clue from datamining it. Note also that the Mystic had an Identify All option in 2010, 3 years before it was patched back into the game, after months of fan requests, via the Tomes of Identify.
The Mystic’s Conversations
Aside from her crafting functions it will be interesting to hear what she talks about. Not many of her dialogues were available from datamining, but you can see several videos of her in action in our Diablo3Inc YouTube channel.
Her voice is soothing and a bit mystical, and her roll seemed to be largely as a lore expert, as she adds detail and background info about the monster bosses. It’s not known if some of her insight was rolled over into lore and bestiary journals by Deckard Cain and Abd al-Hazir, but that’s not a bad bet.
Two sample movies of the Mystic speaking mystically can be seen below.
There’s no telling if she’ll have the same voice and/or the same dialogues now. If much of her lore was handled by other NPCs it would seem redundant for her to speak it now, so perhaps the devs will entirely rewrite the character and put in a new story for her? Or not; we didn’t get any of her story in the beta datamining; just some generic “about monster X” dialogues. I am curious to hear what her issue is, to match match Haedrig’s whining about his “dead” wife and the Jeweler’s pretensions of godhood and jewel-hunting.
Her most interesting ability was enchanting. In the early version it seems to have been purely a way to tack on another affix to the item. It didn’t have anything to do with rerolling a current affix, as the system is planned for Reaper of Souls.
The crafting recipes required materials that no longer exist, including pieces you could only obtain by salvaging the skill runes, since this was back when they were found items. Two screenshots of that interface can be seen below.
The theory was that you’d be able to reroll a given added affix multiple times, and that it could stay the same or improve each time, so ultimately, if you could afford it, you’d have the highest seed of that affix possible.
Andrew Chambers: You specify the item you want, then you choose the enhancement you want, and that enhancement actually has a range. So say the plus experience might be 10 to 20 percent: when she applies it you might get +15% experience. You can reapply that and you’ll have a change of getting +16% or +17% experience, but it will never go beneath the current enhancement and you’ve always got a chance to improve to the maximum possible value.
The devs talked about this system in Blizzcon 2011 interviews, but didn’t get too much into the details and the quote above is about the most specific they ever got. And not long after they had no more to say, since the Mystic kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, and run down the curtain to join the choir invisible. She became an ex-Artisan!
It seems that time has come, or at least it’s coming in the Expansion pack, and while we’ve still got a lot of questions about how the Mystic will work, she seems pretty well confirmed as a feature in RoS. Excite?