Reaper of Souls game director Josh Mosqueira is off on a press tour of Asia doing some pre-game promotion, and a new 25-minute interview of him and Dave Adams has surfaced, courtesy of Korean Players Cut TV. The questions seem to be mostly from fans and they’re pretty general, with a few clueless ones, but others provide some useful info, and I typed up a quick rough transcript while watching.
If there’s anything that might qualify for “new” info it’s a confirmation that the Wings of Imperius are going to everyone who pre-orders the game. Regular or Collector’s Edition, whether you’ve pre-ordered already or will do so in the future. You get the new yellow wings.
Click through for the full transcript. Topics covered include D3’s rocky launch, Crusader balancing, Uber Diablo nightmares, possible option to play Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 soundtrack during Diablo 3, and more.
The following is a rough transcript. A few direct quotes are in “quotations” but all the rest is just summary of what was said in the questions and replies. A few notes in italics are my comments/explanations.
Josh: Not really. There are a lot of newly added things that many fans don’t know about yet. Let me talk about the Pools of Reflection.
D3’s launch was terrible. Will you do better with Reaper of Souls?
Josh: Yes! Error 37 has been deleted. With RoS we’ll be ready for launch. We’ve had a long beta test to balance and fix issues. With Diablo 3 everyone was trying to log in at the same time. With Reaper of Souls players already have accounts and log ins set up, so everyone creating those at one won’t add to the system load.
Something about how achievements didn’t work right during Diablo 3’s launch.
Josh: We’ve worked very hard to prepare for Reaper’s launch and we’re confident things will go much better and more smoothly this time.
Question: Wings of Imperius?
Josh: All pre-orders get the “wings of valor.” Already pre-ordered or will order in the future.
Can you explain the difficulty system changes?
Josh: Describes the reworking of scaling difficulty “Challenge levels” and the removal of normal/nm/hell/inferno.
Can players with D3 vanilla play with people who have RoS?
Josh: Absolutely. All the content that’s not exclusive to RoS. (This is how it works on teh PTR now, and it monstly functions to tease PTR people who can not use the awesome lvl 70 gear.)
Early in the beta the Crusader felt really powerful on offense but patches have changed him to be more defensive and less powerful now. Why did you make these changes during the beta test and not after release? (This might be the single dumbest question I’ve ever heard asked in a D3 interview. What part of “beta test” is confusing?)
Josh: Talks about the balancing process during a beta test and how they need to go high and low on things to find a good balance.
Hellfire Ring and the new Uber Diablo section of the event. Did you get that idea from Diablo 2 and do you have memories of Uber Diablo in that game?
Josh: Yes, totally that was our inspiration. My memories of fighting Uber Diablo in D2 are more like Nightmares. I remember long battles and getting so close to winning before disaster would strike.
Question: Something about Hearthstone card packs with Diablo 3.
Dave: Um… We don’t know anything about that. Maybe one of the PR people know something?
They’re not being coy; they obviously have no idea about that and think it’s probably not true, but don’t want to say so since there might be some local promotion going on in Korea that they know nothing about.
Dave: Nothing new to talk about. We’d love to have PVP in the game and we know the community wants it. But right now we’re still working on the best gameplay for a PvP system in Diablo. We really haven’t come up with that formula yet. Now we’re really focused on Reaper, and there have been a ton of changes since launch, Loot 2.0, etc, so that’s kept us busy so we haven’t really had time to work on PvP yet. We discuss it regularly, though.
Question: The Wings of Valor. Surprise addition based on feedback from community?
Josh: I think wings are very cool. I always have my D3CE collector’s edition wings. I love the console wings also. We thought it would only be fair if the new set of wings were in Reaper of Souls. Partially planned, but also a great last minute opportunity. Also, Imperius got jealous, since others have wings and he does not. We thought the Angel of Judgment deserved wings.”
(Josh misspeaks on that. There is no Angel of Judgment. Imperius is Valor, though he’s very judgmental in the game, so fair enough slip of the tongue.)
Question: Angle of view is locked, but can change somewhat in the Console. Why not changeable PoV?
Josh: It’s locked in the console, but it does come a little lower on the console for the visuals.
Dave: We build the game based on the camera angle. And design the art for that. We have to make the buildings the correct height, and the cut away views of structures so we can’t really change it.
Josh: A couple of times during Act 5 we change the camera angle a bit, to give you a different angle view. Right during the opening of Act 5, and later on the Battering Ram sequence.
Question: The Barbarian’s new Avalanche skill feels more magical than physical, and too similar to some other skills.
Josh: Barbarians come from the mountains, it’s a natural, primal skill. Part of the core fantasy of the Barbarian class. Might and strength. And we think that Avalanche feels different from other Barbarian skills, especially when you get into some of the rune effects.
(I don’t think it’s a great skill, but I agree with Josh that it’s very different than other Barb skills. Closest thing to Avalanche is Meteor, but Avalanche has a very long cooldown and does more crowd control than Meteor.)
Question: High resolution monitors now; are you making changes to Diablo 3 to support that better?
Josh: I can’t say anything specific now, but I know some of our programmers have crazy high tech set ups and they keep asking me and our technical director to support their systems.
Question: Last minute changes in development going on?
Dave: Last minute tweaks and stuff. We’re still receiving a lot of beta feedback and we’ll act on that even after the launch. Level design: tweaking monster density throughout the game. Making sure it feels good everywhere. Few bugs here and there. Mostly we’re just playing, having a good time getting deeper into the characters and understanding all the subtleties. And it’s nice to have time to do press like this to talk to you guys.
Josh: Ditto. “We love the game because it brings us together with the players and at the end of the day that makes it all worthwhile.”
For the record, he said that with a totally straight face and seemed genuine.
Question: It’s very hard and slow to get to Inferno in Diablo 3. Takes 6 months to gear up. Now we have Torment 6, how long will it take players to get to there?
Josh: Our players continually surprise us. Wyatt Cheng does a lot of final tweaking, and he was surprised how fast players powered through Diablo 3. Wyatt owed us beer losing that bet, when players made it in less than a month.
Dave: We underestimated how important it was to some players to get through as quickly as possible. I was amazed how fast it happened. I won’t even guess this time. Players are relentless.
Question: SC 2.1 patch there’s a new option to let you listen to the original soundtrack during that game. Will we get that to allow players to listen to Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 sound track while in Adventure Mode?
Josh: Yes, that’s a very cool idea. Our music director also suggested that. It’s not in the game now, but it’s something a lot of players really enjoy. I would enjoy it. So we’ll work on it.
Question: Adding more end contents in patches?
Josh: That’s getting into the future… we do have a content road map. Exciting things we’re thinking about and working on. We also want to see the reaction and feedback of current game once we release it. When we release RoS it’s not the end but more like the beginning. And we’ll see what players like best and then react to fan desires. It’s a partnership, really.
I was interested to hear they’re seriously considering allowing Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 music to play. The question suggested it during Adventure Mode, which would make more sense as in AdMode you’re jumping around between different areas, rather than progressing through the acts more thematically. It would be awesome in Rifts also, where you get a real mixed variety of everything and the intensity is often much higher than the rest of the game. (And D1/D2’s music was much more intense than D3’s more ambient background sounds.)