GamePlanet New Zealand has continued their excellent coverage of last week’s D3 event with another interview. It’s available in video or transcript, and it’s with DiabloWikiWyatt Cheng, D3’s technical director and one of the main skill developers on the team.

    The interview is very informative; Wyatt talks about monster DiabloWikibosses, his work balancing skills and runestones, end game content, balancing PvP vs. PvE, and lots of other cool stuff. Best of all, there’s not a word about RMAH or DRM in the entire piece! Here’s a quote right from the start, though I highly recommend reading the whole conversation:

    Wyatt Cheng: We actually have multiple different types of, what I would describe as, difficult encounters. Elite encounters. Obviously we have bosses that are key to the story, in the beta, people will be able to fight the Skeleton King, King Leoric. He is a named boss who appears in a very specific location. But then, if we take a step back from that, Diablo II also had the notion of Champion Monsters, and Rare Monsters, and those are really important.

    For me, Diablo is largely a game about feeling awesome, and heroic, and huge, and doing huge damage and having lots of mobility, and tons of utility skills, and great visual effects. But at some point, you have to feel challenged, because if you don’t feel challenged, then you’re knocked out of the zone. You don’t have the concentration. All of my builds and my gear are only meaningful if they help me become more powerful, and becoming more powerful is important. I need to be able to feel it, and to feel it you need to be challenged. And so a lot of that challenge is provided by these “elite” encounters, as I like to call them.

    So on top of bosses we have champions, who are packs of monsters, with special abilities. In Diablo II, the champion packs were things like champions, and ghostly, and fanatic, and so we’ve expanded a little bit on that idea in Diablo III, just the idea that there would be these packs of monsters with special ability. Then there’s also the rare monsters, which are again packs, a rare and his minions. And it’s a pack of monsters where one monster is the ring-leader. And fire enchanted monsters, and everyone remembers lightning enchanted monsters, and multi-shot monsters, those are great examples of rares. So even though they weren’t named bosses in a specific area, they were a really integral part of Diablo II, and so we have rare monster packs in Diablo III as well, and they’re scattered randomly throughout the world for you to come across.

    And then there’s unique monsters, unique monsters are a lot like rare monsters but they have a specific name, and sometimes they have a story element to them, and sometimes they appear in certain locations only, there’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to uniques, but generally it’s when we want to build on the story a little bit, or we need a monster who has a specific set of powers for the location that they’re in. Again, that’s an elite encounter to provide an additional challenge.

    Blizzard’s Wyatt Cheng on Diablo III – Gameplanet Video

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