Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh? Now that we basically know the essentials, I believe it's important to think about the impact the new resource system will have on items. In short I think that Blizzard is planning to (or will end up) changing a lot more than resource types for each character. It makes a lot of sense that they will be abandoning a staple of this genre - the close relationship between the resource that is used by skills and equipment that improves that resource. I doubt that we will see anything even remotely in the neighborhood of the caster pleasers such as Frostburns and Insight in Diablo 3. My reason? There is a great deal of effort to differentiate between characters based on their resource systems, a difference that is rather very obviously unsustainable if Diablo 2's style of basically infinite mana is to remain. Some in-depth musings Before moving on to the meat, let's list what we know about the 4 characters so far in terms of their resources and quickly look at what they might mean before going into items. 1. Barbarian - Fury - a resource that builds up primarily by dealing damage and taking damage. Expended by most of the skills. Clearly designed to reward the Barbarian for rapid offense and being in the thick of combat. 2. Monk - Spirit - a resource type that builds up by performing combo moves. Expended by some of the "flashier" skills as per JWilson interview. Seems to ensure that the Monk's bread and butter attacks are always usable and specifically limits his most powerful abilities from being spammed. Assumption - Spirit does not drain naturally, if it does, the drain is very slow. Otherwise, it is a segmented Fury. An associate assumption is that Spirit builds significantly slower than Fury, as it is suppose to prevent the Monk from spamming his powerful non-combo skills. 3. Wizard - Arcane Power - a resource type that is very similiar to mana but regenerates very rapidly on its own. Seems to be effectively an inverse of the mana bar, so I would assume that it has a relatively limited pool. Effectively means that the Wizard's limitation is rate at which she casts her spells, which means she is practically never out of juice but cannot attack rapidly at all times. 4. Witch Doctor - Mana - you all know the drill. A pain to replenish, but allows a lot of stuff before running dry. Assumption for both WD and Wiz - Mana and Arcane Power are inverses of each other. Mana is plentiful in volume but weak in replenish, Arcane Power is crappy in volume, but plentiful in replenish. Theoretically, each one of these resource systems has a subtle effect on how each character plays. Fury and Spirit seem too similar on the surface. However, Fury can only be utilized in full potential by non-stop offensive, while Spirit has a certain leniency to it, where a combo can be built up, but the resource is not immediately expended. Thus, the difference is expressed by the idea that the Barbarian skill usage is limited by damage taken and received, while Monk skill usage is limited by having very specific skills being dependent on very general combo skills for usage (combos are free, specials have a cost). Plastyle wise, the Monk is clearly more rewarded for being a more discriminating, hit'n'runnish melee warrior than the brute firepower inherent in the Barbarian. Likewise, the difference between Mana and Arcane Power seems trivial at first, but has important distinctions. Mana effectively gives the WD a large pool of choices per fight that remains until the very end - whenever he wants to spam his poisons or summons or nukes or whatever, he is at full offensive capacity until he runs dry. Arcane Power, on the other hand, by definition prevents the Wizard from running dry and instead limits the rate at which the Wizard outputs her spells - a period of rapid, indiscriminate casting means you will be quickly reduced to having to fire off a small spell every few seconds seconds until you get a short resting period to fill your resource orb to the max. In effect, the Wizard never stops attacking, but the intensity of offense diminishes extremely fast. So, how do items tie into this? If the extent to which the resource systems are improved by items remains anywhere near to what we had in Diablo 2, all these distinctions become meaningless. Spirit and Fury generation and capacity boosted too high lead to both Monk and Barbarian essentially having the subtle difference in how their otherwise similar systems behave washed away - a Monk who can rapidly build up his Spirit to spam his strong abilities is no different than a Barbarian who has little to no regard to conserving fury on a skill like Cleave when he can just focus entirely on Shockwaves. An Arcane Power Orb boosted in capacity is no different than a Mana Orb that got an Insight level item replenishing it. In other words, giving out resource capacity boosts and replenishment boosts on items murders the design intention of the current resource systems, making their differences relevant until the gear washes the differences away. I think Blizzard realizes that, and if they are to keep the resource systems, an entire class of items will have to either go or will be made very rare (perhaps +Arcane Power capacity items will be as rare as Archangel Staves in D1 or +% experience boost items in D2). Item effects as powerful as % based mana leach become innately unfavorable to the game's design goal. Cooldown on potions just furthers this idea. Perhaps and instead, the ability of every class to improve their resource management will be tied heavily to other skills (such as the Barbarian's Inner Rage or the Witch Doctor's Soul Harvest; and perhaps some passives/procs). This ensures that a character will have a hard choice between improving their offensive/defensive abilities directly or improving their ability to use them via resource generation/capacity increase. So, would such a design decision be ultimately good or bad for this game? I think it would be overall good. Yes, it would effectively kill quite a few item properties, but it would act to preserve the difference in feel at higher levels for each class in terms of their resource management. It would make anything that improves your character's resource management significantly more valuable. It could even perhaps introduce a variational in builds unheard of before in Diablo - would one sacrifice direct boosts to skill potency to gain resource orb improvements? P.S. There is another major assumption I omitted up to this point - skill cooldowns. In current school of RPG design, they do the function that resource management utterly fails to perform - limit use of very powerful abilities, because let's get real, Frozen Orb with no cooldown would not be constrained by mana in the slightest to the average high level Sorc. If the discussed design decision is made and carefully balanced, high resource cost would supplant cooldowns as the limiter on all but very specific skills. Otherwise, cooldowns mess rather greatly with heterogeneity potentially provided by the different resource systems.