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The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Ihmhi, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Ihmhi

    Ihmhi IncGamers Member

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    The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    I posted this over at the Battle.net Diablo III forums. Apparantly, it was edited removing all the information after "A gem" - you know, the stuff about the Barbarian skills and such.

    I guess Blizzard can do whatever they want on their own forums. This isn't their own forums though. They sure as hell can't sue me for it - taking screenshots from a publicly released video and editing them falls under fair use.

    = = = =

    I have watched the Diablo III trailer a few times, and I thought it would be nice to do a more in-depth analysis of what we have seen in the 19 minute gameplay video.

    I will be going over stuff sequentially and noting points in time for certain things so you can download the video and see them for yourself should you have a reason to doubt me.

    I have also included helpful images taken directly from the video and cropped a bit. Again, everything I have seen you can see for yourself!

    Skill Cooldown

    [​IMG]

    Between 0:25-0:40, you can see the Barbarian use two skills. One of them triggers a WoW-style cooldown on the icon to the bottom left.

    Buff Icon

    [​IMG]

    During the same time the cooldown is demonstrated, you can see that a buff icon appears on the bottom left of the screen. I can see they are making the game VERY different from WoW by having it completely on the opposite side of the screen. d:

    Cursor & Enemy Text/Health

    [​IMG]

    During the combat starting at around 0:25, you can see that when the player hovers their cursor over an enemy it shows a health bar and their name (the enemies in the beginning of the video are "Ghouls"). The cursor also changes to a sword instead of the standard arrow.

    (Aside: bring back the damn gauntlet!)

    Impact Effect

    [​IMG]

    At 1:59-2:03, we can see the Barb smash the ground with some sort of an attack. It leaves impacts on the ground, although they fade after a few seconds.

    Inventory

    [​IMG]

    At 2:10-2:18, we can see the inventory screen come up. This picture shows the detail of it.

    Most of it is pretty obvious... we see equipment and weapon slots. But there are some things that raise questions.

    First, the inventory seems to be more like WoW now - every item takes up one slot. I am sure that item collectors will love this.

    But if we look closer, there are three major points of interest.

    First, the gold circle in-between the weapon slots. Does this serve some sort of purpose (like switching to an alternate weapon set ala LoD), or is it just decorative?

    Secondly, note that some of the item slots are filled and some are not. However, the inventory screen has a bunch of "blocked out" slots that make up most of the inventory. Apparantly, you can expand your inventory somehow...

    Which brings me to three: the four bag slots at the bottom right of the inventory screen. Slots for bags like World of Warcraft? Looks like.

    You can also see a small number on the scrolls: apparantly stackable items will have a small number on them showing how many of each you have. I feel bad for you people running insanely high resolutions. d:

    Item Hover & Info

    [​IMG]

    During the same time period of 2:10-2:18, we can see the player swap out his axes for some fancier ones. Again, some ideas taken from WoW and similar MMOs. Let's look at the details of the original axes first:

    [​IMG]

    And now the new items the Barb equips:

    We clearly see Magic items here: simple axes with an added elemental damage effect. Note that the elemental damage does not appear to be calculated in the overall weapon damage, which goes against the previous Diablo II mechanic of factoring in all damage into the weapon range.

    Also note it shows you the sell value of the item right on it, something you would only see in the merchant window in Diablo II. Apparantly they've taken some tips from WoW's AuctioneerAdvanced addon (and similar addons).

    Runes

    [​IMG]

    On screen from 2:38-2:39, we see a Minor Power Rune. It seems that they may have ditched the ol' "Ral" "Ist" etc. naming convention and went for more descriptive (but simpler) names. Throughout the video you will see other sorts of runes drop as well.

    Elixir?

    [​IMG]

    From 4:23-4:27, we can see both of these items on screen. Minor Energy Rune seems simple enough, but what's an Elixir of Vitality? Why not just call it a potion? It seems to be something more complex. Will we have stat-boosting potions (like WoW's alchemy) in Diablo III?

    Items from the Trap Chest

    The items in the trap chest from 5:20-5:24 are:

    Gauntlets
    Plate Leggings
    Gothic Helm
    Plated Greaves
    Gothic Plate
    Plated Pauldrons

    While the trap is more "insidious" than the simplistic spawn traps of Diablo II, the functionality is very similar: after the trap is tripped, you still get loot. That is unless the chest is empty, after which point it would just suck to do all of that work for nothing.

    [​IMG]

    Loot from Trapped Chest

    [​IMG]

    At 5:28-5:30, we see the inventory window come up. We see all of the items picked up in their proper places. A point of interest is that the Gothic Helm on the Barbarian (remember that they said items would look different on every class in the narration) seems to look like the classic Bone Helm from Diablo II.

    We are also showcased an item:

    With this item, we now have confirmed three of the classic Diablo II elements are in the current build of Diablo III: Cold, Lightning, and Fire. Joy!

    Ladder

    [​IMG]

    At 5:44-5:47, we see the Barb click on a ladder and slide down it. This is evidence that Diablo III's dungeons may have multiple levels without having to go down stairs. It's a nice touch.

    Scripted events changing the level layout

    [​IMG]

    At 5:52-5:56, we hear a monstrous sound (presumably the boss) and we see some rocks fall down and destroy a bridge. Apparantly scripted events can change the level. This tiny addition is welcome in my opinion as it brings a bit of flavor to the game and makes things more interesting.

    It also makes me wonder: what if the barbarian had walked into the rocks? Would he have died instantly? Sustained damage?

    [​IMG]

    What's more interesting, however, is that the Barbarian leaps across the chasm right after the rocks of dooooom fall. Okay, well, the leap itself isn't what's interesting. Anyone who has played Barbarian in Diablo II knows that he has the Leap skill and it has evidently carried over to Diablo III. The interesting bit is that crossing a chasm like this in Diablo II would only be possible with the Barbarian and any class that has teleport. So this begs the question: will alternate routes show up for certain situations like this, penalizing classes that do not possess such a skill by making them go around? Option B is that all classes have some sort of movement skill that would allow them to cross this chasm.

    Ever play Pokemon? In that game, you had to pick up special skills (like Cut) and teach them to your Pokemon to access certain areas. If you did not possess a Pokemon with that skill, you could not pass. Perhaps the same thing will be applied here. They have already stated that each class will have special quests just for them, so it is plausible that they will have their own routes throughout dungeons due to "roadblocks" like this.

    A gem

    [​IMG]

    Right after the Barb lands and trashes some Zombies, we see a Chipped Star Topaz drop. Most of us are familiar with the old Diablo II format: [Quality] [Gem], like [Chipped] [Ruby], [Perfect] [Sapphire], etc.. What does the "Star" part mean? Is it just flavor text, like [Chipped] [Star Topaz], or is it some sort of new parameter like [Chipped] [Star] [Topaz]? Since they seem to be going more for direct information instead of flavor text ("Minor Power Rune"), I'm going to go with the "it's just flavor text" side of this debate for now.

    Another bit I noticed: in Diablo II you had to hold Alt for item text to show up on screen. Now it seems that the item text is always on screen after the item drops. I guess I can take my thumb off of the Alt key... for now.

    Barb SMASH! ...with a wall

    Alright, here's one of the coolest parts of the video - something I'm sure we're all excited about. At 6:17-6:22, the barb knocks an entire wall down onto the zombies and makes them smush. Awesome!

    [​IMG]

    Also note the "Inferior Leather Gloves" in the bottom left corner. Apparantly, normal items will retain a similar "quality system" that Diablo II had: inferior items with worse stats and superior items with better stats.

    Spells, Stamina, Ranks, etc.

    I wager this one will spark a LOT of discussion. I am packing everything into one image for you to digest. It troubles me a little bit, to be honest.

    From 6:28-6:32 we see the player switch out some skills. Here is a picture showing ALL of the popup windows. For the visually impaired and lazy, I have included text as well.

    [​IMG]

    In no particular order:

    And lastly, we see a sword icon with the text:

    So, some of the easy answers. That orange sword icon we've seen up until this point? That's the normal attack button.

    Another change is that things are measured in finite ranges now. D2 and D1 vets have surely been accustomed to talking about screens - Bone Spirit, for instance, had a range of about 2 screens. Now we have "feet" in the calculation.

    A silly little note, defense is spelled "defence" in Battle Cry. Damn Canucks, spell like us red-blooded Americans! YEE-HAW!

    We can determine from the names that some of these attacks (Hammer of the Ancients, Furious Charge) were special attacks that we have seen the Barbarian using up until this point in the video.

    Everything aside from that is... well, world-changing.

    The first thing I noticed personally is the ranks and levels. Note that all of the spells has a rank, like 1/20. However, Whirlwind lists "Current Level" and "Next Level" as well as Rank. So what are the differences between ranks and levels?

    Next, all of the special skills list a consumption of Stamina. Since they obviously have not been consuming life throughout the video, we must assume that the Barbarian does not use Mana - he uses Stamina. It is possible that they changeed "Mana" to "Stamina" across the board, but I doubt it. I guess classes will have different kinds of "special ability energy" types, probably requiring different potions. Since we never see the Barb actually USE any potions to restore his Stamina (and it restores very quickly), I assume that they have copied the Warrior's Rage mechanic from World of Warcraft. It is an assumption mind you, an educated guess if you will. The evidence in this alpha build in this respect is far from conclusive, but the clues point towards a certain direction in design - at least with the Barbarian.

    Paladins will love this: Furious Charge seems to be very similar to the Paladin's Charge skill. So what does that mean with the Paladin? Is the Charge skill out for the Pally? Is the Pally out altogether? Who knows, but we do know that the Barbarian has a skill that was previously assigned to the Paladin.

    Mini-movies

    [​IMG]

    From 7:27-7:45, we see an in-game mini cinematic of sorts play. This is a nice little touch that lets us see our characters in detail.

    Mercs and a notable item

    Right around 8:00, we see the mercs jump on board. Their pictures appear at the top left with health bars, just like in Diablo II. A simple mechanic that we all liked and worked pretty well.

    Also note in the picture a classic item of a certain class: Short Staff, the starting weapon for the Sorceress. This would be, in my opinion, a clue that there is a mage sort of class in the game. Yes, I am pretty sure it was going to be in the game anyway, but here is another little tidbit nonetheless.

    Small Bag

    [​IMG]

    From 8:48-8:57, we see an item on the ground: Small Bag. So it looks like bags (like WoW) will serve some sort of function in Diablo III.

    Numbers popping up

    We see orange-colored numbers pop up at times throughout the gameplay video. They do not appear with every attack, nor every killing blow on a monster. My guess is that they are critical hits.

    The Menu

    With this little post nearing its end, I thought I would go over the menu.

    [​IMG]

    So this is the menu. The picture describes things pretty well I think, no? The ? next to the tiny 5 and 6 numbered boxes seems to be exclusively for scrolls, although I can not be sure. Perhaps they can be used for Potions as well? Blizzard obviously has not done away entirely with potions, and I doubt they would do away with a hotkey for them.

    Conclusion

    This concludes my analysis of the little details of the D3 Gameplay video. If you take the time to download the video and watch it carefully in fullscreen, you will pick up a lot of nice little things and you can learn a lot about what the game is really like now.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope you guys enjoyed all of this info!
     
  2. cycloop

    cycloop IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Very nice post. The point about the barb being able to jump across the gap made me wonder as well, but you seem to have fully investigated just about everything haha.

    I personally find it a shame they overhauled the inventory system. 1 slot for every item is just lame, as you can now carry a ****load of armors which are presumably worth a lot more than say a potion. In Diablo 2 you had to really pick which drops you were going to take with you, as constant teleporting to town became a bit of a boring alternative.
     
  3. cJw314

    cJw314 IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    "1 slot for every item is just lame, as you can now carry a ****load of armors which are presumably worth a lot more than say a potion."

    Why do you assume there's no weight system built into D3? As a result OF the inventory change, I would certainly think that's the case... in addition to a "wow-like bags" inventory system. :)
     
  4. ThulRasha

    ThulRasha Diablo: IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Nice analysis.

    And no more inventory tetris it seems. To bad, I always liked that mini game in both diablo games.
     
  5. chipmc

    chipmc IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    A point of interest for me was that all of the skills didn't have a max of 20 like it did in D2. This makes me wonder how much they over-hauled the skill trees for the barb or any other D2 class that might make a return. And if skill boosting items, like "+1 to all skills", will be back as well.

    ETA: There doesn't seem to be a stamina bar in the UI either. Can we run forever now?
     
  6. cfeldt

    cfeldt IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Thanks for a good post. Two points are especially interesting to me:

    *You covered everything regarding the Barbarians jump and how these kind of rifts will affect the other classes.
    *What about the wall he smashes down, will this open up a path to another area? Will barb. player be able to create shortcuts in this was? By the way, did the barb. need to use a special skill in order to knock the wall down?

    regards
     
  7. Pitboss_2000

    Pitboss_2000 IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Once your character got past level 30 (or something, I have no clue actually) your stamina never ran out anyway. Plus, it was just very annoying, I would be glad if it's out in D3.

    @ the Original post:
    - The circle on the inventory screen could be just decoration, or maybe it has something to do with set items? Additional set iem = addtional coloured dot in the circle, or something?
    - I'd say the arrows pointing left and right at the bottom of the character model in the inventory can be used to switch between items. Not sure, of course
    - Regarding skills; perhaps 'Rank' notes the amount of 'hard' skill points you've put it, and 'Level' also takes any possible + to skill items/skills into account?
    - The icon next to the slots numbered 5 and 6 in the interface bar (the one with the orange sword) seems to be the skill on the left mouse button. The numbered slots almost have to be quick items. Tp scroll in one maybe, and optional potions in the other one? Or both slots?



     
  8. ThulRasha

    ThulRasha Diablo: IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Yes, he used his Seismic Slam ability.


     
  9. HRP

    HRP IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Awesome post!

    I'm glad not every skill can be bumped up to 20, to be honest with you. I think this means that there will be either more skills to put points into, or players will be able to max out a couple different kinds of attacks to deal with immunities and all sorts of different kinds of baddies.
     
  10. Cellzor

    Cellzor IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    The arrows might also allow you to turn the barbarian, like in WoW where you could turn your characters around in the inventory/inspect window.
     
  11. Ihmhi

    Ihmhi IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Yeah, I think that is what it is, honestly.



     
  12. tetracycloide

    tetracycloide IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    The prospect of having all skills max out at different amounts of point investment is a welcome one.

    Take for example the classic D2 barb. Buffing shouts are his primary party utility and yet completely maxing out all 3 of the party buffs required 60 points out of the total 100+ leaving very few left over for actual combat skills. By limiting the number of points that a the shouts required to 10 each suddenly each point is worth double what it was before and the barb has 30 more points to spend elsewhere. This will help open up more versital and varied builds by giving the player characters harder choices to make when assigning points.

    I have some speculation to share about the minor runes of energy and power. It appears that the barb character in the footage does not use 'energy' as the 'fuel' for their skills but instead uses 'fury.' Perhaps 'energy' and 'power' are the 'fuel' for other classes and the minor runes are akin to the tiny red globes that drop from monster to replinish your HP when fighting. They do not get absorbed by the barb in the footage because that character has no use for them.

    Skill cooldowns are a good thing in moderation. They open up opportunities for skills to be truely useful without being overpowered. There were several skills in D2 that were pretty useless outside very specific situations because their effects were limited against many mobs (freezing comes readily to mind). By adding a cooldown to an ability that freezes the precludes the possibility of chain freezing the limitations on who/what can be frozen can be reduced or removed without making them imbalancing.

    One thing that was not pointed out on the inventory screen are the tiny arrows near the bottom of the character portiat plane. Looks like there's an option to rotate your character within the view screen to get a 3D view. Great for comparing vanity gear.

    Moving the target HP bar from the middle top of the screen to directly over the unit being targeted is another welcome change. This makes it much easier to keep an eye on enemy HP while looking at the actual play screen. This also makes it much easier to tell what unit is actually being activly targeted.
     
  13. KiLLJOi

    KiLLJOi IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Is the "golden circle" slot in between each weapon not the place for shields?
     
  14. DarkVenger

    DarkVenger IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Im not sure about that but I think I noticed that the mana orb for the barb and the witch doctor were not the same color the witch doctor looked more blue probably it is mana and the barb probably stamina and has no mana at all?
     
  15. Pitboss_2000

    Pitboss_2000 IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    I'd say that the shield usually goes into one of the weapon-slots for characters who can't dual wield.

    @Cellzor: good call, I've never played WoW so I wouldn't know. :)



     
  16. Temple Guard

    Temple Guard IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    What I wonder most of all is how much the video is "staged". The mentioned only that the chest has been rigged, but maybe they rigged regeneration rate or other things as well in the video for easier demonstration.
     
  17. Pitboss_2000

    Pitboss_2000 IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    They kill everything in a few hits apart from the boss(es), I'd say the heroes are too high level for these maps.
     
  18. cJw314

    cJw314 IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    I've been worried about 'staged' encounters, since I saw the gameplay video in the first place. I've always been annoyed by 'linear' types of gameplay and the movie made D3 look kind of like that. I didn't see anything that involved a 'choice' as far as which way to go...

    D2 was certainly not linear... and we can certainly hope D3 continues in that.

    :crosses fingers and waits for further gameplay vids:
     
  19. Ihmhi

    Ihmhi IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    Someone else on the Battle.net forums put up these images:

    Also, for anyone over at the BNET forums: the original thread:

    http://www.battle.net/forums/thread.aspx?fn=d3-general&t=41374&p=1

    I'd appreciate people echoing their comments over there. It already has several thousand views. :D



     
  20. ahzarelly

    ahzarelly IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Little Things - Gameplay Video Analysis

    A few things I'd like to add:

    [​IMG]
    - At around 9:14 you can see the final monster of the trailer passing by in the background, and shortly after one of the bowman says "There's something in here!". I think he is the one which our "well meaning hero" woke up, when the bridge was destroyed. Also, I think that that obstacle was just for demonstration, showing "look, the barb can leap through just like in d2".
    - Apparently you pick up gold from the ground simply by moving close to it, no need to turn it into (more of) a click fest to gather all those gold pieces.
    - And maybe ranks and levels are the same thing, just different names?
     

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