Thanks to Nobbie for sending word that German site Gamona.de has posted a new video interview with Diablo 3 Game Director Josh Mosqueira and Art Director Christian 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.
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 Ironborn 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?
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 Nephalem 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 Loot 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.)
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 will be one of the services provided by the Mystic. 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 Transmog. Nothing about costs has yet been mentioned, but surely this will function as something of a gold 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.