We just left an interview with Jay Wilson, and we’ll be posting the transcript and full video of it later today. In the meantime, here are some of the juiciest tidbits. Click through to read about the removal of assignable attributes, how waypoints will work in D3, how the party system is changed (removed for redundancy), lots more about spell runes, and how Jay thinks we’ll react to the next character to be revealed…

    Attribute points are not player-assignable in D3. They’re not in the blizzcon build, but we thought that was just to simplify things for new players at the show. Jay says no, that’s how it is in the game now. His explanation was that it makes items even more important, and that it lets the designers plan a bit better (they can assume players will have at least X in each stat by a given level).  You still get attributes, which are NOT required for equipment use, but they are automatically assigned each level up. Thus every Wizard will have the same base str/vit/dex/etc as every other Wizard of the same level. Same for the Barb and WD.

    Jay confirmed that the party interface and system is gone in D3.  Now when you join a multiplayer game, you are automatically in a party. Jay said that now that there’s no option to go hostile, it was pointless to force players to go through an additional party joining interface. The team is considering mechanisms that might be needed to deal with griefers or players who otherwise try to ruin the play experience.

    There will be waypoints in D3. They’re not in the Blizzcon build, but they are in the full game. The team is also looking at ways to automatically jump players right to the closest one to other players when they join a game. They’re also considering some sort of scroll or other mechanism that would take new players instantly to the others in the party, wherever they are in the game world. All part of their emphasis on boosting the fun, co-op, multiplayer elements of the game.

    Jay spoke at length about the newly-revealed spell runes. They are a fairly new addition to the game (they’re only enabled for the Wizard in the Blizzcon build), and are still very much subject to change. However Jay said that there are now 6 or 7 different types of runes, 5 or 6 quality levels, and that they can add as many more types or quality levels as necessary. Their rule for adding more spell rune types is to only add them when they think of a property that will be useful to enough skills that it’s a viable addition. He also said that rune properties would only boost spells and skills; they won’t add say, +5 strength, or other general attribute boosts. Runes aren’t only damage adding either; Jay mentioned the Wizard skill Mirror Image: Runes added to that skill will do things like make the images (duplicates of the Wizard) last longer, or make more duplicates appear.

    Also, in a question I sneaked in after our interview time ran out, while we were packing up our gear: I mentioned Jay’s past comment that players would “hate” the next character announced, since it was so similar to a past character. (Which turned out to be the Wizard, who is clearly similar to the Sorcerer/Sorceress, and didn’t result in hate, other than some “it’s too ‘Harry Potter’” comments about the name.) Jay said that comment had been overplayed a bit, and that he’d made it fairly offhand. When I asked him how players would feel about the next character, he grew a bit more serious, and said with emphasis, “I think players wll love the next class.” How much he meant that, and how much he was merely playing off his previous “hate” comment is for us to attempt to determine.

    Much more from the interview later, when we post it this afternoon.

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