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    Here’s a quick video interview of Josh Mosqueira and Christian Lichtner that packs multiple good questions into just over four minutes. Topics covered include the new feature of DiabloWikiNephalem Trials, the size of Act Five, and changes to earlier acts in DiabloWikiDiablo 3: Reaper of Souls.

    Update: Switched in a new version of the video. It’s got the identical dev interview, but adds footage of Athene talking about the Crusader while he plays the demo. (There’s no view of the demo, just his face as he talks about it while playing.)

    Act Five size

    Christian says it’s about the same size as Act Two. That’s a bit of a surprise to me; did you guys think it would become the largest of the acts, ala Act 5 in Diablo 2?

    I guess the overall size isn’t so much an issue as how varied it is, how fun it is, and how many of the areas will be good for farming. And in the future we probably won’t care so much about farming since we’ll have Loot Runs. And perhaps there are going to be other end game features we don’t know about yet?

    They keep saying “End Game for Everyone” but what about the person who doesn’t want to do 15-20m loot runs, or replay the current static acts? What if you want to grind for exp in long, uninterrupted games? Can has bottomless dungeons? Kthx.

     

    Nephalem Trial entrance.

    Nephalem Trials

    These sound awesome to me. They’re basically randomly-occurring mini-events, and remind me of the portals you got in Torchlight 2 when you found and killed a Phase Beast. In DiabloWikiNephalem Trials you find one of these special death orbs and they transport you to a special level where you face increasing waves of enemies in short but very intense battles. Your objective is to survive and to advance as far as you can, since the further you make it the more golden chests you are rewarded with when the (timed?) event ends. You’ll no doubt score exp for all the kills you make in the process, to.

    One topic I brought up during our lunch with the devs at the Fan Site Summit in June was that a lot of the random events in the game had grown stale, especially since the monster density increases in v1.08. Events like that sudden uprising of zombies from the glowing ground in the Weeping Hollow, or some of the tiny missions in the Act 2 deserts used to be awesome since they were a big boost in monster density and combat speed, but aren’t any longer. As I talked about that Josh and the other devs were grinning and nodding in agreement, as they’d obviously considered that issue and were looking at this Nephalem Trial thing as a possible fix to the, “random events don’t feel special anymore” issue.

    Sometimes they’re pretty smart. Never forget that.

    Click through for what the devs said about PvP and redesigning earlier acts once Act 5 is added in.

     

    Player vs. Player.

    Props to Athene for asking more than one question about PvP, and I’m sad that nothing is coming up on that for D3X. Someday, as Josh clearly thinks it’s a priority, but they aren’t happy with any systems or designs yet, or just don’t think it’s a priority with all their other crunch time DiabloWikiReaper of Souls toil.

    I still want esports style death match duels, Blizzcon-demo style with pre-made chars so the battle would be about skill, not gear+budget+level. I’d play that right now for at least an hour a day, even at the cost of building up levels for my future Sharagon levels, but Josh and Wyatt weren’t real enthusiastic when I pitched that concept during my interview last month.

     

    Redesigning earlier acts

    That sounded like a “Not really.” Which is a pity, but not really a surprise. It was nice to hear that they’re integrating the Crusader fully, with dialogues for him all throughout the game, with all the mercs, etc. So he won’t feel tacked on or lacking in lore or background detail compared to the other classes.

    As for earlier Acts, no redesign isn’t a surprise, but I hope they at least make some tweaks. Maybe add some more dungeons, or tweak some of the layouts/designs, with the new randomized dungeon tools they’re making for the Loot Runs game types? Also, Act 3 needs to be improved, since v1.08 gave Act One and Act Two such a big makeover in monster density. As for act four… that’s the tough one. I think it’s as large as it needs to be for the story and monster variety, but compared to the others it’s tiny and therefor irrelevant and not useful for farming. The dungeons seem the easiest fix; just scrap the current lame Act 4 dungeons and put in ten-level crypts with random Act 4 level layouts. Not great, but at least you’d farm it once in a while, just for variety?

    Or who knows, maybe Act 4 will be awesome as a Loot Run?

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