Bashiok returned to a recent thread about monster appearances and palette-shifting to point to a previously-released image of the Scavenger as an example of how palette-shifting might appear in the game. Here’s a quote from his post in April, plus today’s update, with the image inserted below.
We generally have a number of texture variants for each enemy, mostly so they better match the feeling of the area where they’re placed. Even within the same act an enemy may use a different texture so it matches the theme of the location. It also shows progression and helps the player recognize that the creature they’re fighting now isn’t the same as the one they fought before; sometimes because they’re just tougher, and sometimes because their actual attack and damage types are different.
What about texture variants within a group, Bashiok? You know, to promote variety in tone, is it something you would like to do, or do you feel it might convolute gameplay?
Bashiok:It can and does happen, as well as actual geometrical differences. It’s more of an issue of time than anything. If we have the time to put in a bunch of variants to remove some of the visual repetition then we will, but it’s a wish list item.
Bashiok today: I forgot we had this in the wild:
It’s a pretty picture, but it’s unclear to me what purpose is served by this Scavenger artwork. I guess it’s concept art of how much the various palette swapping will modify the colors of the creature? That’s cool, but how does this in any way differ from what we saw with every monster in Diablo 1 and Diablo 2? It’s more detailed and differs more between the varieties? Two of them have stripes on their legs, while the other two have spots, whereas all the palette shifting in D1/D2 was purely done with color replacement, rather than some texture switching also?
Nifty, if anyone ever notices that in the three seconds before versions 2 and 3 of the Scavenger are sent off to ankle-biter heaven. Or back to ankle-biter hell, I guess?