Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A

    This evening’s Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A was pretty interesting and outlined many of the new features coming to the game. At the end of the session the usual public Q&A session took place and there were some decent questions answered. There were also a few questions that shot over the heads of the devs. I do pity the poor guy who attempted some kind of a keyboard joke question, I swear I saw a tumbleweed roll past on the floor.

    With the closure of the auction house and everybody buying and selling gold, what are you plan on doing to effect the flood of gold that’s going to come onto the market just before the auction house closes?

    We have a number of new gold sinks coming and the gameplay panel tomorrow is going to go into them very specifically. One of the big ones is enchanting , Transmogrify is not a major gold sink, but enchanting is the system that allows you to re-roll the stat on your item to make it better for yourself. That’s a  smart drop goal as well so it’s very likely to be good for your character and you can see all the potential things you can roll. So that’s a major thing. We’ve got new and better blacksmith recipes coming, also smart drops so when they do roll they’re much more likely to be better.

    Those are just a couple of the features for gold sink so we do intend find ways to get some gold out of the economy. We don’t want to have to make it so that if you’re not one of the people with 40 billion gold you can’t participate it that. People with 40 billion will pull the slot machine a little more often. Ultimately gold is not going to be as big of a delta factor for character power as it has been for when the auction house was live.

    If case you missed it, read on for the full transcript  after the break.

    What’s going on with the ladders?

    Ladders are awesome to climb, they have rungs and the whole point is to get to the top right? Stay tuned.

    Are all the previous areas going to be designed like the maps you brought up prior (Adventure Mode)?

    All acts will be available through adventure mode so every act is going to have a map just like the one you saw for act 3. All the waypoints will be opened up so you can just bounce around.

    When you guys get into Nephalim Rifts, that’s really where we go full throttle in the randomisations. The layouts are going to be totally different.

    I really enjoy the game but I have one issue, no offline mode. When are we going to get it?

    When we decided to designed Diablo 3, we feel, and seeing all you out here, Diablo plays best when you;re playing with your friends. When you have access to this aesome community that is Blizzard. This is why we have BlizzCon. We felt is was really important we have that social connection. for you to be able to have access to your friends list. It also alloed us to make sure you characters were stored. It was important for us to satisfy that social aspect of the game.

    In fact we’re adding more multiplayer features, groups and clans were teased in the trailer there so those are coming as well. That’s a feature that being online makes it even better. Even more so than the rich join and drop co-op that’s already out there.

    With the removal of the auction house, what if any sort of sanctioned trading model will you put in, or not put in to protect people from everything that happens in Sanctuary and not just Evil monsters.

    Right now we are still in the process in figuring out what trading means for Diablo. There is a social component that we still but want to retain, but at the end of the day it’s kind of fundamental to our loot 2.0 philosophy. We feel that finding items in-game  by killing monsters should be the most rewarding, most satisfying and the best way to gets your hands on those items.

    Bosses are typically static waiting for you to walk into the room before they start fighting. Have you thought about having them move around in the hallways, making people think about it before they get into a big battle?

    In Nephalim Rifts, that’s exactly what happens. When a boss spawns, it is in the level with all the monsters, you have to contend with everything, so it you’re fighting a champion pack when one spawns and he’s right on your head, you have to deal with all of that.

    What are your plans for revamping PvP?

    A week doesn’t go by without Stephen here asking me what are we doing for PvP. It’s something we’re always talking about and we’re really trying to figure out what is the right way to express PvP. What does it actually mean, how can we make it fun. It’s something we have hopes for but for Reaper of Souls the focus has been on the core gameplay loot, the epic heroes against the forces of darkness and the promise of epic loot. So we’re starting with the fundamentals. Once we feel we have those really solid then we can start asking the fun question on how we get you guys fighting each other.

    What are you going to be doing about unique items, right now it seems like you have a lot of items with cool effects bit the stats just trump any of those effects. what are you doing about items that have cool effects but are also optimal to use so that we actually want to use them?

    Lots of different things. We’ll be hiving examples tomorrow at the gameplay panel. We are narrowing the range on things so, for example if you can have a could roll 1-500 strength, at the upper tier that’s narrowed to 300-500. So even if you got the minimum roll it’s still a pretty decent item. The legendary effects on the new legenadaries are somewhat game changing. We;re trying to give them whacky things they do  that changes the way you play one of your existing builds.

    We have Witch Doctor mask for example that causes horrify to not just fear monsters but to root them as well so you get a major crowd control effect. If as a Witch Doctor you haven’t used Horrrify before, you’re probably going to want to now. We a have a lot of things like that, we;re smart dropping it so your primary stats for your character class that finds the item is much more likely to be rolled, and so on. There’s probably 3 or 4 other smart drop systems we can talk about tomorrow.

    The side dungeons at the start of the game taper off towards the end of the game, are you going to add more of those in or do you have any additional plans to freshen up the first four acts?

    The density lowers for a couple of reasons, especially in act 4, we really feel at that point after the bog reveal they just want to get to Diablo so it became a little more narrowed and centered but we recognise that it;s an issue and that is where adventure mode  comes in. When we talked about that people were playing th game over and over again, part oif it was that you had that goal. You wanted to kill Diablo on your current difficulty level, that was actually encouraging you not to bother with the side dungeons  because that slowed you down to getting to your goal of Diablo and ultimately Inferno.

    With removing that requirement and making these side dungeon Bounties, we’ve taken every nook and cranny in the game and give you occasionally a good reason to go there to increase the variety so al the side dungeons we do have happen in a much more varied order. When you’re in Heaven and you have some Bounties to do there, we’re gong to ,make sure you see some side dungeons there and we’re going to send you to th acts to do other things. I think we’ll be addressing that concern really well with adventure mode.

    I’ve losts few hardcore characters due to lag spikes, or HC timeouts. Is there any architectural improvements coming that will possibly help?

    We’re constantly looking at those situations on  a regular basis. QA is hammering on it, we are server capacity in different regions. Asia for example is having issues with that, especially Australian players. We;re trying to address issues like that too. We’re dong everything we can to solve issues like that.

    Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.

    You may also like