Bashiok broke his forum silence talking about Town Portals and options for speedy town returns or partying up without TPs as a means of transportation.

    Ok Town Portal is out of the game (Good)

    Bashiok: We’ve always been trying to see if we can create a better system than town portals, making waypoints the main travel back to town mechanic. But, it’s looking like it’s just simply more fun and a quality-of-life-nicety to be able to jump back to town from anywhere even if waypoints are all over the place. Plus it’s not really that hard to avoid the few pitfalls that TPs in Diablo II had.

    But what if i join a game and want to play with people that are already playing, i need take near waypoint and walk all the way to meet others?
    We cannot have a one side TP? Ideas?

    Bashiok: There is actually a mechanic that allows you to jump from town (one-way) to any other player in the game.

    Please elaborate. It sounds like even with the alpha happening, you guys are still in hardcore development mode.

    Bashiok: We’ll be developing the game up until release, and then likely well after.

    IMO, get rid of the scroll of wealth, since with town portals it’s useless.

    Bashiok: We haven’t had those for a while, although we do have another mechanic to sell items while out and about.

    Also I never said you can just use them anywhere anytime as much as you want.

    So some limited form of the Town Portal scroll is back in the game, DiabloWikiScrolls of Wealth are out, and there’s a new mechanic to sell items without returning to town. (Which works better than the SoW, presumably.). Seems reasonable. I’m wondering though, how they’re going to work TPs back in without hitting the same problems they cited about them from D2. A memory refresher:

    Town Portals are gone. We found them to be a crippling combat exploit. We found that while they had some cooperative uses, they tended to split players up a lot. As soon as players wanted to go back to town they did, and then they had to figure out how to get back to their party. We don?t want players to ever be split up.

    But the big thing is that Town Portals were a combat exploit. When players can essentially portal out of any situation, it makes it almost impossible for the designers to create a game that?s challenging and compelling, or a world that you?re really immersed in. To replace the need for town portals we?ve added DiabloWikisalvaging and we have a couple of other systems that we haven?t shown yet that help with that. The goal is for you to not really miss them.
    DiabloWikiJay Wilson, Gamespot AU Interview, August 2010[/blue]

    We fans were suggesting that TPs be removed long before Blizzard made that decision. Once we learned that TPs were out, we offered numerous suggestions for ways they could remain in the game, without being exploited. The Diablo community; consistently conceptually ahead of the developers!

    Ongoing forum debate about the (semi) return of TPs can be seen here.

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