Another Jay Wilson interview has popped up, a five minute shot from Gamescom. The interviewer is Dan Chiappini, Associate Editor for GameSpot AU, and while he does the non-fansite thing and asks fairly generic questions, Jay still finds a way to give good answers. This isn’t a full transcript; just a record of the new-ish stuff Jay added about various much-discussed issues. The DiabloWikiJay Wilson quotes are all approximate; not verbatim.

    After a basic rundown on the DiabloWikiArtisan system, Jay gave some more interesting details about the backstory of two of the individual Artisans you’ll encounter and journey with.

    The DiabloWikiBlacksmith needs help laying his family to rest. They died in the initial attack at the beginning of the game. Once you help him with that you earn his loyalty. Whereas the DiabloWikiJeweler is much more about greed. So he couples up with you more because he wants to profit himself.

    When the issue of DiabloWikiTown Portals was broached, Jay explained why they’ve been removed from Diablo III.

    Town Portals are gone. We found them to be a crippling combat exploit. We found that while they had some cooperative uses, they tended to split players up a lot. As soon as players wanted to go back to town they did, and then they had to figure out how to get back to their party. We don’t want players to ever be split up.

    But the big thing is that Town Portals were a combat exploit. When players can essentially portal out of any situation, it makes it almost impossible for the designers to create a game that’s challenging and compelling, or a world that you’re really immersed in. To replace the need for town portals we’ve added salvaging and we have a couple of other systems that we haven’t shown yet that help with that. The goal is for you to not really miss them.

    Click through to read the rest of the interview, and see the video as well…

    The interviewer also asked if DiabloWikiGold will play a more active role Diablo III than it did in Diablo II.

    One of our goals is to make sure there’s a really good DiabloWikieconomy in D3. We need things to spend money on that for. Artisans are a great source of ways to spend money since they can do so many cool things, but all of those things require gold and ingredients. Also, when you’re pulling items out, when you’re salvaging items rather than selling them, you’re gaining less gold as well. Which is a good thing for creating a stable economy.

    The final issue was Hardcore mode, which Jay confirmed would be returning during the initial Q&A session from Gamescom. He added a bit more detail about it during this interview.

    Hardcore is definitely returning to Diablo III, but we haven’t decided what sort of special Battle.net features we’ll enable with it. We want to make sure that if you see a HC char on B.net, you’ll know they’re HC. It’s a status symbol, and it’s only one if you know. We’re looking for ways to reward players, and we’re sure we’ll have a set of HC achievements also.

    Jay seems to have come around on this issue. In his first comments on Hardcore, from the WWI 2008, he seemed fairly indifferent to the concept and unsure if they’d even bother to put it into Diablo 3. Now, more than two years later, he’s audibly excited about it. Why? Here’s a suggestion:

    When the crew of Diabloii.net visited Blizzard North in December 1999, Hardcore mode had just been added into the still unbalanced (and much harder) game, and most of the guys there were having a fantastic time testing it out. More than once during our weekend visit, someone burst into the conference room where our machines were set up and many of the employees were congregating, to gleefully announce that another employee had just lost his highest level HC char yet. Quite often to a crash, or a disconnect from the proto-B.net they had running in the office, or to some nasty alpha-build bug. Every time this happened, all the Blizzard North employees in earshot would break into laughter and applause, especially if there were a few agonized screams emitting from the victim’s office.

    Jay didn’t say he’d been playing HC, but perhaps it’s newly in the game and the devs have been testing it out? Jay’s marked increase in enthusiasm about HC might well be related to some first hand experience of just how much more fun and exciting it is to play Diablo when there’s a real death penalty hanging over your head.

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