Josh Mosqueira and Christian Lichtner Interview @ Gamona.de


Thanks to Nobbie for sending word that German site Gamona.de has posted a new video interview with Diablo 3 Game Director DiabloWikiJosh Mosqueira and Art Director DiabloWikiChristian Lichtner. Good questions in this one and the guys explain thoroughly a number of new game systems, including the shared Paragon system, the new totally-randomized Loot Runs game mode, Crusader details and play style, improvements and changes to monsters and Elite Affixes, release date hints, and more.

Click through for some more notes on what they revealed here, and what they didn’t. We’ve got screenshots showing off Loot Runs, new info on release date and D3X progress, and lots of details about how the shared paragon system and paragon points will work.

 

Release Date… Soon?

The opening question was why reveal D3X at Gamescom instead of waiting for Blizzcon, and one of the last questions was about the release date or progress report. Both answers were much the same, and to the tune of, “We’ve just got so much done that we wanted to share it as soon as possible, and we couldn’t wait until Blizzcon, though we’ll have much more to share then.” Signs or release = encouraging?

I’m not yet regretting my December 2014 release date prediction, but the devs are certainly dropping a lot of hints that this project is further along than fans might think.

 

Paragon System Changes

This is one of the biggest changes and many fans are still trying to wrap their heads around it. Once the change comes, there will be no more individual Paragon levels. All experience earned, by all of your characters (HC and SC are kept separate) will go to your Account Paragon (which will presumably require more exp per level than an individual char does now.) Each level you gain on your Account Paragon gives you 1 Paragon point to spend on EACH of your characters. Not just one point total, but one for every character.

This seems like it could be weird, with a brand new Level 60 70 character instantly coming into 500 Paragon points, but apparently that’s how it’s going to be? Or not; many voices in comments interpret Josh’s remarks to mean that your characters will gain access to *some* of the Paragon points as they level up — you won’t be able to add the full bonus to a level 1 character and instantly make them a god, but presumably they’ll get some of their total potential paragon points at various tiers; maybe every 5th or 10th level some more become available?

Paragon points are spent on around 16 different character properties, sorted into categories. Not all the specific stats or how much each point will improve them has yet been revealed or finalized, but the category tags are known, and we’ve heard some of the specific bonuses in each category:

  • Core: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Vitality. (All confirmed.)
  • Attack: Critical hit Chance, and other such stats. (CD? IAS?)
  • Defense: Blocking %, and other such stats. (CC recovery duration?)
  • Utility: Movement Speed, and other such stats. (+%Experience? MF/GF perhaps no longer baked into Paragon levels?)

Josh named the few listed above as certain. The others are speculation, and of course things will probably change between now and release.

Paragon points system in Reaper of Souls.

Paragon points system in Reaper of Souls.

 

More Character Slots?

Josh nodded and said they were looking into it. It seems natural; 10 slots now for 5 chars, that’s one of each, SC and HC. Add another char = need 2 more slots. (At least.) Especially if they add some kind of ladder system that supports DiabloWikiIronborn mode.

One other factor; with Account Paragon players might strip the gear and delete their retired characters once Sharagon is active. You’d want to redeem their Paragon experience before you threw them away, like recycling an aluminum can.

 

Crusader Play Style

Something we’ve been debating about the Crusader in the forum; what makes the class special or different than the Barb or Monk? Tanking power, apparently.

In this interview Josh and Christian stress that the Crusader is meant to be tanky and massive. To feel powerful and rooted, able to stand against any number of enemies, with offensive and defensive talents stemming from the shield. The Crusader lets you get up close and personal, but also allows tactical variety, with many melee attacks, stuns, debuffs, and more, but also a variety of cool mid-ranged abilities and good AoE talents for larger groups.

As an aside, it seems like the devs are viewing the Crusader from much more of a Softcore perspective more than a Hardcore one. These days, SC Monks and Monks and Barbs are almost always dual-wielding or Skorn-users with huge DPS and the ability to blast through enemies at high speed, with little regard for their own lives.

That’s quite different from the Hardcore style of those classes. My main is now a Paragon 88 Hardcore Monk, when I watch the Crusader I see basically what I’m playing now, minus a lot of blue tornadoes. It’s a tanky melee dude with a shield, creating pretty magical effects on the ground. This isn’t much different than what Hardcore Barbs see either, since they tend to be sword and board tanking brutes, rather than the squirrely tornado-dash SC style. Hence this might explain a lot of the “nothing new playstyle” reaction from some players to the Crusader; depends on whether you’ve been doing HC or SC of late?

 

Loot Runs

Good description of them in this interview. They’re fully-randomized, short, 15-20 games, a lot like the bonus end game dungeons you see in other ARPGs. It sounds like you’ll pick
a basic tileset to start and then get it fully-randomized in layout and monster variety. That’s the bigger difference, since you can get any variety of enemies in a Loot Run — not just the monsters you usually see there. Even the ending boss is randomized; it might be a single random Elite, or one of the known SuperUnique bosses, or even two of them at once. It’s really meant to be random in every way.

Josh describes them as a concentrated blast of the action and randomization that is the hallmark of the Diablo games. The interviewer asks if there will be requirements to enter Loot Runs and Josh perks up and says that’s a great question, but that details won’t be revealed until Blizzcon.

Something the devs haven’t yet mentioned… what about DiabloWikiNephalem Valor stacks? The concept of stacking up to 5 of those doesn’t seem to work with the concept of 15-20 minute Loot Runs. So maybe stacks carry over between Loot Runs? But that seems cheesy; why have a feature if it’s always going to be on max?

Furthermore, what about Magic and Gold Find bonuses per Paragon level? There are no more character paragon levels, so would account paragon levels just yield 1% MF/GF each, and all your chars get that as a passive? Or might MF and GF be things you can improve with Paragon Points in the “Adventure” tab, which means not everyone would have them all the time…

A few of the scenes in the gameplay video (screenshots here) seem to show DiabloWikiLoot Runs, with new/different enemies appearing in existing tile sets. Such as Corrupted Angels in Leoric’s Torture Levels, Beasts in Zoltan Kulle’s level, etc. Samples above. This seems like a very cool feature to me, as I’ve been wanting more variety in things to kill and places to go for a while. (Though I’d still like some very deep dungeons for longer exploration sessions, rather than just making a new game every 15m.)

 

Monster Improvements

Not much info from the guys in this interview on monster upgrades, though Josh does say that there are new Elite Affixes and that one of them, False Fire, is available in the Gamescom demo. No details about what it does are provided.

 

Transmogrification

DiabloWikiTransmogrification will be one of the services provided by the DiabloWikiMystic. It will work much like transmog in World of Warcraft, where characters unlock different gear looks and can then chose which of them to show off in the game (instead of just looking like your current gear).

As Josh describes it in this interview, they’re still working on the feature and tweaking the UI and player interface, as well as deciding on how much you’ll be able to alter your look. Basically you will find gear as you progress, unlocking new looks and styles, and they promise some surprises and bonus appearances also. Sounds like it won’t just be a selection between all of your current gear, but there will be new looks possible only through DiabloWikiTransmog. Nothing about costs has yet been mentioned, but surely this will function as something of a DiabloWikigold sink.

 

The Best Change in Reaper of Souls?

The last question was a funny one, as both Christian and Josh hemmed and hawed and said they really loved the whole package too much to single anything out. Josh did say that he liked the AI of one of the new archer demons, since it knew to retreat while firing and that gave a better sense of devious intelligence to the enemies.

 

All the topics in this article will be fleshed out more as we get more details from Gamescom, and we’re working to update all the DiabloWiki.net pages, and planning main page articles focused on the new stuff as well, for greater info dissemination and discussion with you guys.

Comments

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  1. That smile when the interviewer mentioned Necro/Druid + Blizzcon incoming… I really hope that there’s another class in store 🙂

  2. QUOTE

    That smile when the interviewer mentioned Necro/Druid + Blizzcon incoming... I really hope that there's another class in store :)

    There isn’t. 🙁 They were pretty clear he is the only one in other interviews.

    • I just watched that one and I’m an extremely sad panda right now. Well, I just hope that they were not kidding with “you only got a taste of what’s coming” and that there are more changes and features to be announced at BlizzCon.

    • Yeah, they smiled probably because they had some heated debates between the 3 classes. Hopefully we’ll get 2 classes in the final expansion.

  3. Lol @ flux… no way this is early 2014. You of all people should know what ‘soon’ means! I think heart of the swarm released ‘soon’ after it was announced as well.

  4. I’m not sure how I feel about the shared Paragon levels now. It’s gonna mess with my IRONBORN playstyle! I like the new paragon levels for sure, but maybe not so much the idea of every character getting a level when my active character gets one. (I’m understanding this correctly, aren’t I?)

    So, My question is, what’s stopping me from filling up all my character slots at the beginning of the game so they can all benefit from one character’s paragon advancements? -Doesn’t that defeat the whole idea of taking one character at a time to completion?

    • guessing – just like skill runes, the ability so spend Paragon Points are unlocked at specific character levels

      • We talked about that on the podcast weeks ago while speculating about sharagon, and all thought it would be weird if you got all the sharagon bonuses as soon as you hit 60. (Or 70 in D3X, I guess.) There’s a giant leap from 59 to 60 now, in terms of gear, and it would be crazy if on top of that you got all your sharagon points at once.

        So I hope that, as some of you guys are suggesting, maybe paragon points come in all along, but only at certain level tiers. Maybe every 10th level you can add a few more, on a new char, and by the time you’re max level you can access all that you have stacked up? So you’d still be hugely powerful immediately upon reaching max level if you had a bunch of paragon levels on your account, but it wouldn’t be such an instant giant leap.

        And note that in D3X, unless they retroactively change gear levels, you’ll have at least 2 big tiers. 60 when you can use all the current best gear, and then 70 when all the new D3X top gear comes in. So the 50s will still suck, but 60 won’t be the be all/end all anymore.

        • Yet, he says that sharagon level will require more XP so many of us will not have such a high sharagon level and the big jump will no be that obvious (wahoo +10 Int…). For those with plvl 500, the jump is indeed big but I guess they already know the game well and how to reach lvl 60/70 fast enough.

          • It’ll be a big deal for Hardcore, since you’ll forever build up paragon levels, and since you need to reroll sometimes. Eventually Hardcore players will have enormous paragon bonuses coming to their new characters… which isn’t a bad thing. Twinking is fun and rushing is fun, for most.

            But it’s kind of a non-factor for SC players, since there’s no real reason to reroll.

    • I’m pretty sure you will always have the bonuses from your account paragon. Which means any time you create a new character, they will roll with the bonuses your other characters are benefiting from. Put more plainly, your characters don’t have to exist to reap the benefits of the account leveling. They will get in when they are born.

      And because you determine to assign the points, your Ironborn-ness doesn’t have to be “tainted.” You can just choose to not assign any points or wait to a certain level to put them in. Up to you, dude!

      My main sticking point currently is similar to one Flux questions: Nephalem Valor. I’m curious what they will do too as I have seen some gameplay videos of the level 32 Crusader from the playable demo gaining Nephalem Valor stacks as he runs through Act 5. So, NV at level 1 automatically? Certainly doesn’t seem like it’s out of the game currently.

  5. Diablo 3 is all about the end game… In Blizzards mind.

  6. So if paragon levels are shared should we all be getting the early ones out of the way for our alt classes so we get more when this hits live or is that just me trying to cheat the incoming systems changes that are still unclear for how the dynamics work post patch for what you already have pre-patch.

    • there’s only one Paragon level per account and your COMBINED EXP from ALL your characters determine your ACCOUNT Paragon Level

      https://twitter.com/Lylirra/status/370248463738757120

      example:
      currently it takes 20 160 000 xp to reach Paragon lvl 10

      so let’s say you currently have 10 chars at Paragon lvl 10

      when you import those 10 chars into the expansion they lose their individual Paragon level
      but their Paragon xp is combined into one Account wide Paragon level

      your 10 char’s total Paragon xp was
      (10 * 20 160 000) = 201 600 000

      that’s just enough for an account wide Paragon level of 84

      it takes 322 560 000 to reach Paragon 100

      so in the new system you’d still be 120 960 000 xp short of Paragon 100
      322 560 000 – 201 600 000 = 120 960 000

      to reach an account wide P level of 100 in the new system you’d have to currently have 9 chars to P 10 and one char to P 74 (or just one char P lvl 100)

      http://www.diablowiki.net/Paragon_level#Experience_Charts

      that’s how I understand it

    • It won’t work like that, paragon level 10 = that amount of XP it won’t add 10 levels on top of paragon level 90, it’ll just add the amount of XP that level 10 paragon is which will be probably half of a paragon level at 90

      • This. And look at the paragon exp chart; you need more exp to go from 99 to 100 than from Paragon 1 to 17. The only thing now is you wouldn’t want to grind much with a level 100 char, since that extra exp on top of 100 would be wasted come paragon accounts.

        http://diablowiki.net/paragon

  7. whats up with the sound? i cant hear it =/

  8. it seems that paragon 2.0 is the best shit they came up with thus far

  9. Flux, I think you have misunderstood on aspect of the new Sharagon system. From the above interview, I believe Josh says that the Sharagon points will be available to ALL characters on the account and not just characters who have reached level 60. Thus, when a character hits level 60, he does not suddenly have access to all the account’s paragon points. Instead, he has access to all those points once he is created. Of course, Josh could have misspoke or maybe I misunderstood?

  10. @Option
    yes, thats exactly how its going to work.

  11. With the addition of new skills,runes, and passives in RoS, I’m hoping we’ll see some improvements to current skills,runes and passives with the expansion as there are many sub par skills with the characters right now in comparison to other skills such as Arcane Orb for wizards, will we get Frost Orb, Fire Orb, Lightning Orb the damage per arcane cost is weak compared to other skills this is just an example there are more and I hope this question is addressed come Blizzcon

  12. Hey Josh,

    I like you better than Jay Wilson but if you are not announcing something about PvP during Blizzcon, I will be waiting for you in backstage with my 9000 dps butchers cleaver that I bought from the supermarket.

  13. QUOTE

    Diablo 3 is all about the end game... In Blizzards mind.

    Not just theirs.

  14. With paragon being infinite, perhaps every paragon level will require the same amount of XP.

    • I just really hope it is not exponential and that it becomes linear at some point or there will indeed be a cap. Someone has done the math with the current plvl?
      Another solution is to be able to find very rare “scroll of leveling” (BoA of course).

  15. Oh, yes. Let’s put the ability to assign stats points in the game and call it Paragon 2.0. Let’s put randomized maps in the game. Really Blizzard? Really? Your D3 Dev Team touted this as what was wrong with D2, canned it all for D3C, and are now putting it in D3X like it’s some new, awesome brainchild they just came up with. Sad, really sad. You might as well reveal a Mystic NPC for D3C in 2008, pull the from the game before release, add then put her back in D3X… oh wait.

  16. QUOTE

    Oh, yes.  Let's put the ability to assign stats points in the game and call it Paragon 2.0.  Let's put randomized maps in the game.  Really Blizzard?  Really?  Your D3 Dev Team touted this as what was wrong with D2, canned it all for D3C, and are now putting it in D3X like it's some new, awesome brainchild they just came up with.  Sad, really sad.  You might as well reveal a Mystic NPC for D3C in 2008, pull the from the game before release, add then put her back in D3X... oh wait.

    Keep in mind, that the game has a new lead designer and therefore perhaps a change in design philosophy.

  17. You can’t reasonably (I know, the internet isn’t reasonable) complain that Blizzard didn’t do X, and then complain when they do X.

    Not like there is a lack of other issues to be sad about anyway.

  18. Yes awesome 2 new char slots, really?
    It’s not like most people use few of them as mules, and people who like all classes are screwed.

  19. Infinite paragon tells me:

    – The D3 Ladder is coming at BlizzCon (ofc you start ladder chars at level 1/paragon 0 and get the season XP for your account not before the end of the season when the ladder char is dumped to the non-ladder-realm)

    – “True” endless dungeons are coming at BlizzCon (infinite power = infinite progress in these dungeons)

    D3:RoS should be an awesome update for casuals as well as hardcore Diablo players who love to play all day long.

  20. I’m not complaining about assigning our own stat points, random maps, and the Mystic NPC. I’m complaining that ALL of this should have been in the D3C from Day 1 and there is nothing really new for D3X other than a Crusader class, some tile sets for Act V, and a new Act Boss to fight. The rest are core D2 features that should have never been canned in the first place and things they demoed in 2008/2010 and pulled from game.

    Are you going to pony up $59.99 for this? And where is PvP, the Talisman, charms, all things they demoed and pulled from D3C? Even if they put this stuff back in the game for D3X and haven’t yet told us (Blizzcon is coming up), Loot 2.0 does nothing to fix the broken itemization system and there are still no character builds. If Blizzard isn’t going to fix these things, it doesn’t really matter what they do/add to D3X. Casuals will come and play I’m sure. D2 ARPG fans on the other hand, are not going to touch D3X for more than a couple of weeks if they touch it at all.

    Let’s hope Blizzcon has some good news, and that the good news actually makes it into the game, unlike what happened with the 2008 reveals and D3C. It will be a sad day when D2 is still on my hard drive and D3 isn’t.

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