More Diablo 3 Developer Interviews

As we reported from the Diablo 3 Fansite Summit last month, the Diablo 3 devs were planning to submit themselves to an increasing number of interviews to give us something to talk about and think about over the summer. I’m sure you guys saw our interview posted earlier this week, and if you want more, here they are.

The first is a text only interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day, and Kevin Martens. It actually went up a few weeks ago, but we missed posting it at the time, so here it is now. (I blame the fact that it was posted on my birthday when I was very drunk otherwise occupied, and out of town visiting relatives.) The interview can be seen on Diablo Somepage and it’s got some good info, plus an almost farcical number of, “we’ve talked about that but can’t give you any details yet” type answers. One quote:

Diablo Somepage: There had been some talk about making the end Act bosses more interesting. I guess it comes down to the balance of the elites versus the bosses, what do you want people to be really striving to go for? Is that something you’re interested in doing, and if so would short-term smaller fixes, like letting them give a Nephalem Valor stack, or provide a big chunk of experience if you kill them with 5 stacks — would those be the sort of things that might be considered?
Kevin Martens: Right, so a couple of notes on bosses. Why you fight bosses versus why you fight elites, has sort of a different balance than previous Diablo games did. Bosses aren’t so much about the challenge in D3 vanilla, as they are about the celebration or the story moment that you have defeated another Lord of Hell. That is different than other games, certainly other games we make right now and other games we’ve made in the past. That’s sort of deliberate; whereas the challenge generally comes in with the elite monsters, which are intended to often be harder than the bosses. That said, every time we make something as heavily scripted as some of the boss fights are, we always think of better versions after we ship, and we always love to go back and fix some of that content. That’s not a super necessarily high-priority thing to do.

When you get your hands on the console game, you’ll find that improvements have been made to some of the boss fights; some of those could possibly be rolled back into the PC version in the future. And certainly new bosses that we make in the future, we’re going to try to learn from what we did with those ones, and make them better. I don’t think we’ll do any like quick, short-term things, in a patch to just give them a stack of Nephalem Valor or something like that. You’re not rewarded in such a way to require you to go kill them very often anyway, it is still better to kill the elites and rares as per my earlier philosophy statement. But yes, they could be better.

Elsewhere, an interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day and Wyatt Cheng was posted on Diablo Fans yesterday. I assume it was conducted over the phone or skype just like ours was, but there’s no audio, so just read the transcript. It’s a straight Q&A that got an unfortunate number the “we’ve talked about that” type replies, but this bit about Paragon Levels caught my eye:

DF: A thing that Travis mentioned once – adding efficiency to the Paragon system. Have there been any talks on what those additions can be?
Travis Day: Yeah, the Paragon system was spectacular for what it was trying to accomplish. Sometimes random can be a cruel mistress and the paragon system’s primary intent was to allow you to feel like you’re acquiring progression and even if you’re not getting too lucky with your item drops. We want to take that and expand upon it even more.

We’ve definitely talked about things like taking Paragon and decoupling it from your character specifically and making it something that is more account-over working. So that any time you invest in the game is rewarded and you don’t feel like we’re taking anything away from you if you want to try new characters or try out different play styles within the game. That’s something we’ve looked into a lot.

Also, maybe potentially adding some sort of customization within the paragon system. Sort of in the vein of a throwback at a Diablo II start location. We’ve looked at things like that. We definitely have plans to flesh it our more in time. We don’t need to design it from the ground up. What it does, it does well, and we just need to make it more encompassing.

They’ve mentioned shared DiabloWikiParagon level bonuses before, and with several mentions I’m thinking it’s more like “coming in D3X” than “on the drawing board.” I’m not at all sure I like that idea, though obviously it depends on how they implement it. Later for that debate though. (Literally. I’ll post an article for debate and a vote, once I’ve given it some more thought.)

More generally, it’s nice to see all the new dev interviews of late, huh? There was another one with a streamer last week, if you missed it. It would be even better if they could actually give us some hot new info, but looks like we’ll have to wait until Blizzcon for that. (Which is why I went more for conversation and discussion than just a straight Q&A in the podcast, since I didn’t want to just get a bunch of those rehearsed-sounding “we’ve talked about” type replies you guys are always (justifiably, IMHO) complaining about.

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11 thoughts on “More Diablo 3 Developer Interviews

  1. Did anyone else raise an eyebrow when they said “Bosses aren’t so much about the challenge in D3 vanilla…”

    Maybe in the expansion they’ll be improved somehow?


  2. Well, if they can provide actual character and skill customization via paragon levels, it’s at least something, though too late in the game I would say. You should have ways to tinker and build your character from the very beginning. I honestly can’t believe how these guys think it’s fun to have everything auto-assigned to you, including runes.

    It’s been argumented to death already… but yeah, you’ve got your 12 million copies sold, take the chance with the D3 expansion to bring back good stuff from the previous Diablo games, thanks.

  3. Remove the dumb 60 lvl cap, make each increase in MP raise mlvls by 3-5, add higher item lvl reqs to higher level items, remove the dumb Paragon. This would improve the game tremendously as well as solve several problems, such as players with vastly higher DPS (which should be lvl 70 or 80) grouping with chars still in their should-be 60s.

  4. I’m sorry but the paragon system is just an artificial system created to pretend like progression exists past 60. We all know how much shit talking this dev team has done over “artificial” systems. They either need to add real substantive character customization to the paragon system or trash it. It’s not a good system, it’s a poor placeholder to cover a greater flaw and it’s sad they try to praise it as something revolutionary to d3 and a great concept.

    When I heard the paragon system first announced I actually thought they would give us rune rank options of some form for skill constomization and was pretty pumped. Boy I just don’t

    • They did mention in another recent interview (I think on Archon’s stream on Anniversary Day?) that they’re considering more character customization tied to the Paragon system. I had a question about that on my short list for the interview but didn’t get to it, so I continue to wonder how it might work.

      I’m all for more character customization, via stat points, skill points, anything. If they meant “moar banner patterns” then not so much.

  5. Would be great to share paragon mf bonuses account wide. Add meaningful customization so getting 100 on all characters is still rewarded.

    How awesome to make an alt with 300 mf from 1-60! Make paragon xp farmable on any level 60. Character specific paragon goes toward meaningful customization. Now you are rewarded no matter what alt you play.

    • Exactly. It really is a no brainer. They need to stop questioning, second guessing and just make the decision already. How long have paragon levels been out? They have been “discussing” this all this time and still don’t have any concrete ideas… it’s mind blowing.

    • I have exactly the opposite initial reaction. MF bonuses should be earned with gear. I’m not even much of a fan of them just coming by default as a bonus for grinding. And now they want to make it so every char has permanent max MF? Why not just remove gear MF entirely and put all base drops at the equivalent of what’s 300% now? (I see that as a terrible idea. I suspect others think it would be awesome.)

      Anyway, I’m going to type up some more pros and cons and do an article on that at some point, as threatened in the OP?

      • As someone who has never liked MF as a stat, my thoughts are that if it must be in the game, it should be a real, meaningful trade-off to *something*. I agree with you in the sense that it feels stupid to me to have it be some trade-off-less bonus that’s just there accumulating all the time. (But then, I’d like to see the emphasis shift *dramatically* from “finding items is all you do” to also having some emphasis on customizing and improving your character’s actual power.)

  6. I like the paragon system, and agree that it needs improvement. Your gonna hunt legendary items anyways might as well get something else (exp) for your down time invested (not getting legs) in the hunt.

    Some of these ideas are just off the top of my head so bare with me.

    One way to improve the paragon system is to allow your skills (runes) to gain exp after you reach paragon 25 or 50. Maybe %damage per lvl or have multiple lvls on the skill. Make it a mastery of the skill and get rewarded for using such build.

    Another way is have you items gain exp once paragon 25 or 50, this would help with itemization and give a sense of ownership and nostalgia to items. Special properties that affect skills may be imbued with the mystic once an item reaches a certain lvl 5, 10, 15 and so on. This would apply to individual items.

    Give exp rewards towards sets after reaching paragon 25 or 50. Imagine if you could have immortal king set at set lvl 10 make whirlwind throw out ancients spears that would drag enemies in to the whirlwind as you spin. Of course you would not just automatically obtain the upgrade, you would have to earn the exp then go to mystic and imbue entire set at a cost of gold and consumables. Of course the set experience would only apply if you have the full set equipped.

    Everyone know that in D2X the rune system is what made itemization shine. I know they are planning to bring more socketables to the item pool, which is much needed, but they need to look at the rune system and see how upgrading your items improved itemization as a whole in D2X. It was hard work to get some of the best runes and make the best words and it took time, god did it take time, but what made it so great at the end was the effect of some of the rune words, they were awesome.

    And D3 is at a great point for improvement, its fun as is but the end game could be epic.

    Bring back PVP arena geeeeeesssssssssuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  7. Here’s a quote from Josh Mosqueira, from the diablo.somepage interview:

    ‘We really want to reclaim the Diablo roots, and hold them up high, and focus on: what are the fantasies, what are the core pillars for our fantasy, how do we make the player feel like they’re embodying these epic heroes?’

    This blows my mind. This is a question that shouldn’t even need to be asked. In fact, just play D1 or D2 for a while and you’ll have your answers. These are the sorts of things that people say when they are procrastinating or don’t have a clue where to turn next.

    I’m sorry to say it but Diablo died with the Blizzard North team. D3 is just a vain modern remake of a great classic.

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