Another of the D3 developer interviews from last week has surfaced, this one courtesy of Planet Diablo. Their interview was with Lead Technical Artist Julian Love, and they’ve posted the full transcript for our enjoyment and edification. Questions cover skill runes, gold/economy issues, the Monk, items, and more. Their direct questions caused Julian to give an unfortunate number of “I can’t really give any details on that yet.” type of replies, but there are good bits to be found as well. Here are two of them:
PD: Is there going to be more detail that we see translating from the items in the inventory to the character model as well?
Julian: Well you’ll probably see this in some ways that are very similar to what we did it in Diablo II and maybe some other ways that you see it that are a little bit more in the UI than what appeared in Diablo II . I kinda covered those in two parts.
One of the big things about the Diablo series is that we’ve don’t “generify” the actual character models so that every character can wear the same item and it looks the same on them. We take all those items as much as possible and we try to make them thematically fit with that character. We’re able to do that with more items in Diablo III than we were able to do in Diablo II; pants, for instance, is one of those areas. You’re going to see a lot more of that translation happen in this game.
The second thing, though, is – I just don’t think that – Well, I would say class-specific items in Diablo II was more of an afterthought, it showed up in [the] expansion, it really wasn’t built into the game from the very inception and it didn’t really appear to be part of the class design itself. Whereas in Diablo III we’re coming out of the gate right away with the idea of class-specific items with the Wizard and with the Monk, so I think you’re going to see a lot of items that are actually built from the start with those particular characters in mind.
PD: Can you tell us about the role of NPCs—How big a role will they play in Diablo III? In Diablo II , sort of going along with that, they didn’t move that much, they stayed in their general area of within their town; are they going to be more mobile in the game?
Julian: I’m gonna say yes, absolutely. Without giving you any details with exactly how, where, and why because it starts to reveal too much story, the intent there is, and in all ways really, the intent is to make the world seem more like an actual living, breathing world. This is why we have you interacting with the backgrounds as much as we do, this is why we’re making the NPCs really play a bigger part in the story itself, and part of that will be getting more direct and active involvement with, you know, the NPCs themselves and having them move around and do things and see them doing the things that happen in the real world, not just hearing about it through dialogue.