Blizzcast 8 is out!

After some wait, Blizzcast 8 has finally been revealed to the public!

It is available for download here:

Discuss what you think about this new Blizzcast which is supposed to be almost exclusively about Diablo 3.

Here are the four new Diablo 3 images that were included with BlizzCast 8 which primarily showcase the inventory system:

(click any of the above images to enlarge)

I (mockery) particularly like the little details, such as the difference in the stitching around the borders depending on whether you have a bag or a burlap sack selected. The inventory system as a whole looks really sharp if you ask me. What do you think about it?

(Thanks to Lord Petrov.)


  • #1 Magistrate
    This is the actual "Diablo III" interview portion:

    Bashiok: Starting with Julian some people may know you from WWI and BlizzCon, you were up on stage giving some presentations, for those who don?t know you personally what do you do on Diablo III?

    Julian: Well I do a lot of things, I?ll try to cover them briefly. So I run the Technical Art department, and the kinds of things we do there are we build a lot of custom art tools to make production go a lot easier, and we also rig characters which is a way of sort of making them "puppetable", so the animators can define how they?re going to move, and probably the biggest visual contribution we make is through special effects, breakables, and lighting.

    Bashiok: Very cool, and Mike Nicholson who is a new face and voice to those following Diablo III, what do you do on the team?

    Mike: I'm a Senior Artist and I?m in charge of all the interface. Also known as "The UI Guy".

    Bashiok: So Mike, actually I wanted to touch on something you did in the past. I was at your office a few weeks ago and found out you were Lead Designer and Lead Art on a game which was near and dear to me which was called Sanitarium. Without going into it too much, that was a point and click adventure game, so how did you get from that to working here at Blizzard?

    Mike: Well, I?m glad you liked it, I?m proud of that game. Well the thing was when we did Sanitarium unfortunately even though it was well received, everyone who played it liked it, not that many people played it. Well eventually they did. We kind of got there as the party was going out...

    Bashiok: For point and click adventures...

    Mike: So, you know you kind of take a look around and go well I guess I need to get back into art. Came out to California and started doing 3D environments and kind of worked all the way back up to interface, where I?m back to doing 2D art again.

    Bashiok: Julian back to you, one of the major effects systems is the death system which kind of goes over how monsters die. Which is one of the cooler parts of the game, and we?ve seen a little bit of that before at WWI and BlizzCon, but what is the system and can you explain it to those listening and what does it do in the game?

    Julian: Yeah, something pretty close to my own heart there, was we really recognized that monsters really live to die in Diablo. You really don?t have a lot of time to express their personality, and you don?t have a lot of time to try to make your experience with monsters meaningful. Most of what you?re doing is killing them. So one of the things I was really interested in doing was making as many different ways for monsters to die as possible. So that was kind of the goal, and think we?re up to something like 35 ways for any given monster to ?bite it? at this point. But the basic theory is to really extend on the idea that Diablo II started with, which was that you would hit monsters and you would see the damage you did to them reflected on them. And we said, well let?s take that further, monsters could burn to death when you hit them with a firey sword, and then we added the idea of crits and monsters could explode across the screen, and it just kind of went from there. But that?s essentially the idea.

    Bashiok: Very cool. A lot of the effects that you make factor in to the abilities that the characters are using, so fire and arcane and all that stuff, but in the world of Diablo it seems like there are very specific magic types that exist... it is actually a pretty broad spectrum, but is there any limitation there to what you can do with ? different damage types?

    Julian: Yeah in fact that?s a common input that I?ll receive is ?Hey this guy?s a firey this or whatever, but can we make that fire look green?? And that?s where the sort of designer in me has to kind of come out and say, wait a minute if we make fire green all of a sudden it?s a bit of a miscommunication in terms of the gameplay. And so there is a bit of constraint there that, at one point I?m trying to make things look as epic as they can, but at the same time they have to be really clear to the player so that they?re not confused that you know, green fire might mean poison. Then there?s the other part of it which is it?s really easy in my department to make a big mess. We can just clobber the screen with so many effects that you just can?t see the game anymore. So those are really the two constraints we really work with most.

    Bashiok: Back to Mike, since people saw the game at BlizzCon ? they got to play it at BlizzCon ? which was exciting for everybody, the interface and the UI has actually changed pretty dramatically even since then, it?s been an iterative process ? since the conception of the game really, but uh so for those that didn?t see it at BlizzCon or even those who did what are the changes that have come about since then?

    Mike: Well one of the biggest things involved in Diablo are items, right? We?ve experimented with a few things and one of the big things that everyone liked from Diablo, as an entity, were the large objects right. While it was more efficient to go with a WoW style one size fits all icon, which is what most people have seen, we really wanted to see what we could do and so we went back and reevaluated the system and we?ve decided split it into large and small objects. That brings up the question of tetris inventory all over again, and a lot of people are opposed to that, some people like it, some people don?t. So what we did we ended up tabbing the inventory, so now you have your large items, and then you have a tab for small items, and there?s a third tab for quest items. That way all the items can coexist nicely with each other without the frustration, which was one of the complaints about the old system is the frustration in trying to fit everything into your pack.

    Bashiok: And are we still going to see the bag system coming back, the expandable [inventory] with the bags, or is it a set inventory size for each tab?

    Mike: Current design right now is to have bags. You?ll get bags and they will expand, you know kind of like in WoW, except you?re not going to open up separate windows. You?ll start off your inventory with say? you know, eight slots, right, and then you?ll get a new bag and that has ten, so two more slots will open up within that tab, but you?ll never have multiple tabs. Like you won?t have two or three ?large? tabs.

    Bashiok: Right, and is that working out pretty well so far? It?s been in testing for a while.

    Mike: Yeah, most people seem to really like it. I mean the feedback has been pretty good, personally I love it, because it lets you do both, it lets you have the large icons but it eliminates the frustration that people voiced about having different sized items within your inventory.

    Bashiok: And you can really see the artwork as it is now with the larger icons...

    Mike: Oh yeah, very much so.

    Bashiok: Also, on iterative processes, a lot of BlizzCon saw the skill icons. And there?s been some talk in the community that the skill icons are definitely a departure from what we saw in Diablo II. Which were these gold runes, almost, I guess. So what was the decision there to make a change to the skill icons, and do, y?know colorful skill icons?

    Mike: I am unabashedly a fan of WoW, I?ll probably catch flak ?oh you?re making it look like WoW oh no!? but I love them, I love the WoW icons. And y?know what we?re trying to do is see, ok what works about the WoW icons? They?re illustrative; is there a way to try to maybe bridge the gap. You know what worked about the more symbolic DII icons, and what works with the WoW icons, and trying to find a way to put the two together. And that?s really what I?m trying to do is to try to make them more symbolic, so they?re not necessarily little murals, but they are painterly. So they are colorful because you?re going to have a lot more of them than you would in DII. So you have the hot bar at the bottom, and you want that to look colorful enough that it?s interesting, but not to the point where it?s an eyesore. And quite honestly I?ve made many iterations on the icons, and there?s still many to come. It ends up being a balancing act, you know I test them out what they look like next to each other, and if they?re too colorful ? tone it down.

    Bashiok: One of the things I like about them is, without even looking at your hot bar you can kind of see, oh this one looks blue and cold it?s probably an ice spell of some type. So without even mousing over it to see what it is I can tell it?s at least of a specific magic or damage type or skill use...

    Mike: You know one of the best experiences I?ve had at Blizzard is the iterative process, which some artists don?t like, but I personally love it. Because it lets me test stuff out. For a while I was trying out, ok let?s do color theory? ok so all the berserker skills will be this tone, and all the battle master will be this tone. And you know on paper it looked good, sounded good, ok it?s a nice theory but what we found is when you put them on the hot bar, if you went down a certain tree now everything?s the same color at the bottom and it?s hard to tell them apart. You know, ok I get a gold star for being clever, but then I lose points because it?s not playable. So you know you go back once again, scrap it, and reevaluate it. But I love that process.

    Bashiok: Back to Julian, the Thousand Pounder...

    Mike: Julian is not a Thousand Pounder! Kind of rude? [laughs]

    Bashiok: [laughs] At WWI we unveiled the Thousand Pounder and it had this really grand entrance where it was assembled out of the pieces of these sacrificed uh? I guess virgins, if you will. It was such a grand entrance for that monster, how did that come about?

    Julian: Well yeah, I recognize that it probably looks like it was really planned out and something that we worked on for a very long time. It was one of those things where we originally wanted it to come busting through the wall there, because breakables being what they are they?re kind of the hot thing in the game, but I think there was some recognition that when you have a monster of that shape busting through a wall it?s starts to look like a Kool-Aid commercial...

    Mike: Oh yeah!

    Julian: [laughs] Which really undoes what we?re trying to say with the thousand pounder. And it kind of stole some of the thunder of the siege breaker who does that later on. I think, very late in the game, not three weeks before we were scheduled to be done with that we got some concept that looked like he was being beamed in Star Trek style. My department did an emergency powwow and we weren?t really happy with that, and so we asked ourselves so what do we really want to see here? And the hardest thing we could think to do was what we ended up doing, and we?re all scared, could we get it done? It was an enormous amount of work and we were going to have to convince other teams to help us. We needed help from modeling, we needed help from animation. But there was just this really cool commitment from everybody that this was the best thing to do, and we were going to put a lot of overtime in. We just crammed on it in two weeks, and that?s what popped out.

    Bashiok: Very cool, and is that something we?ll see in the final game you think?

    Julian: Oh yeah, in fact I think there?s been a lot of off-shoot ideas. Like every other monster in the game, where applicable, we ended building a skeletal structure into him, and even a muscular set and things like that, that you see. And those things are functional, so I wouldn?t be surprised if you see skeletal and muscular thousand pounders running around, maybe half-summoned, and that sort of thing. There?s a lot of leeway with it.

    Bashiok: Very cool, and last but not least you?re both working on a system which is the barbarian?s fury system. So, the fury system for those that don?t know, the barbarian uses a sort of reverse mana system. It?s not using mana as it uses abilities, but it builds up as he?s fighting, so it kind of? he gets angry and he?s chopping dudes down and he gets more and more fury to use for his abilities. But that?s actually changed quite a bit, can you guys go over how UI and effects are coming together to create the new fury system?

    Mike: Yeah well it?s always an, again, an iterative process right, and one of the problems we had with one of the systems we had tried out was ? it worked ? but from a peripheral vision you couldn?t see what was going on. We wanted to be very clear and very bold about what was being done, so traditionally what happens is design will come to me and we?ll talk about what are the goals we need to accomplish. And then I?ll do some mockups and then I take it over to Julian and hope he can make those mockups look far better than my mockups.

    Julian: And I think where we?re at right now with it is the recognition that spending your fury is what we really want you to be doing, we want you to see it as a commodity to spend in order to gain access to more power, and that wasn?t really being communicated so clearly with the other one. So we?re trying to accomplish that goal of making it more, yeah, you know when to spend, you know what you?re spending but you don?t necessarily have to look directly at it. So effects plays a little bit of a role there, but I think we?re trying to not put effects in there just for effects? sake, but only do it when we think that it?s going to help you really read and understand what?s going on.

    Mike: Yeah, before one of the problems was you would see the build up more than what you had to spend. Like you would build your fury up, and then you know ?bonged?, and you?d have an amount you could spend. But everything was sharing the same visual space and you couldn?t necessarily discern one from the other. And again from an art standpoint, sure it worked, it was ok, but it wasn?t conveying the gameplay. And gameplay is king, you?ve got to make sure that it comes across in every way.

    Bashiok: Can you describe for those listening what it currently looks like?

    Mike: Let's see? if I had to use a cruel comment, one that I made myself as I was making it, oh "It's the fury traffic light". Because it's three spheres stacked vertically, and no we?re not making them three different colors, but you know as I was doing it I was like oh great, it pretty much well assures us that we are not doing different colors because it will well indeed look like a traffic light. But that?s the gist of it, because when you're playing hopefully your vision is in the center of the screen, and this is going to be to your right and down below. So you need to see a very bright graphic that kind of flashes to let you know, that even if you flick your eyes down there you?ll see I've got two or three of whatever that is to spend. Really that was the goal. Hopefully Julian and his team will ramp it up, so that, because we want it to catch your eye while you?re doing it, but not be a distraction.

    There are various new images displaying the new item system, skill icons, and UI, as well as a video of the Barbarian's fury UI.
  • #2 Blackwing
    Blizzcast 8/Diablo 3 conversation

    I don't think they really answered much for me, but I am satisfied.
  • #3 blood-doll
    can't get it to download yet, but if the entire transcript is on the page then it's pretty disappointing
  • #4 DiabloFanUser38304
    very dissapointing, blizzcast real info..only the barbarian fury video is cool...everything else is just mumbo jumbo about nothing interesting..
  • #5 Blackwing
    Here is the new screenshots in a zip folder:
  • #6 Magistrate
    Things covered:

    • The switch from single-sized item icons to varying sizes, like in Diablo II/ Diablo I. (This was a major topic on our forums.)
    • Monsters have varying anatomical representations to allow for greater monster variety. (This was a major topic on our forums.)
    • Further elaboration on how the Fury system will work and look.
    • Elaboration on how skill icons will look in Diablo III (a mixutre of WoW and Diablo II/I) (This was a major discussion in our forums.
    Plus new images of things we hadn't seen before in the UI. Overall, I'd actually say this was a good interview. More than I had anticipated. If I hear anyone complaining because the entire storyline and characters weren't revealed, and we didn't see bosses, I'm going to lose respect for a lot of you.
  • #7 Jackzor
    I don't get why so many people were expecting so much from an audio clip but honestly this is much more than I was expecting. New UI looks pretty sick to me. I would have bet that we would just get recycled information.
  • #8 mordred
    I lilked the hole artistic style...So we will have pants also?!
  • #9 Murderface
    LOL, they changed the staircase statues people were whining about.
  • #10 Blackwing
    Quote from "mordred" »
    I lilked the hole artistic style...So we will have pants also?!

    We have always had pants!
  • #11 Magistrate
    LOL, they changed the staircase statues people were whining about.

    Yeah, I was gonna say something about that, lol :D Nice catch.
  • #12 Blackwing
    I don't know if these are better statues.
  • #13 Paladin88
    First they get rid of the gauntlet and now they change the color of the unique items...

    Blasphemy !!!

  • #14 Greg_Gluebag
    All in all not very informative as expected. A better look into the fury system is the only thing I'd count as important, I also didn't see the bestiary update promised not that I care about that really, it may have been in there I was too bummed out about not hearing about an additional class. Typical sub-par BlizzCast. :mad:
  • #15 XXLaw
    I just love the new looks. The interface, UI, intventory. EVERYTHING ^^
    The icons look great, the items as well. I love how they have changed everything. Really love the look.
    Makes me it feel more Diablo for me.
    PS. Noticed that they have changed the Lions for Gargoyle heads in the 1000 Pounder screenshot? (at least I think those are Gargoyles, maybe some demons)
  • #16 Magistrate
    Quote from "XXLaw" »

    PS. Noticed that they have changed the Lions for Gargoyle heads in the 1000 Pounder screenshot? (at least I think those are Gargoyles, maybe some demons)
    Quote from Murderface »

    LOL, they changed the staircase statues people were whining about.

    Yeah, they used to be lions:

  • #17 Paladin88
    The barb has the same on-screen armor even though he's wearing 2 totally different garments. :(

    I thought they were going to have a completely different mesh or design for every single item?
  • #18 moonshine
    Personally I'm pretty stoked about it. I like learning about the thought processes that are going into it. They are really making sure that it is playable and enjoyable. Plenty of good info and a decent interview. People that were expecting a new class to be released... I mean aim high to shoot high but really... did you honestly expect that big of an announcement? I didn't... all in all I'm content with it.

    Also stoked about the new inventory. Good idea on their part I believe.
  • #19 Jackzor
    Quote from name="Greg Gluebag" »
    All in all not very informative as expected. A better look into the fury system is the only thing I'd count as important, I also didn't see the bestiary update promised not that I care about that really, it may have been in there I was too bummed out about not hearing about an additional class. Typical sub-par BlizzCast. :mad:

    1. There was no bestiary update promised.
    2. If the "typical" Blizzcast is also sub-par, doesn't that mean that your concept of "par" is too high? Something cannot be both average aka typical while being below average aka sup-par.

    And Paladin, if you want to kill your eyesight determining the difference between yellow and gold be my guest, but I'm quite fine with purple thanks. And I honestly doubt they are done with all the armor models. The barbarian looks pretty bare to be wearing any armor at all, so its probably some kind of default.
  • #20 Azylium
    Actually, I wasn't expecting anything to major, but the screens of the new UI were sweet as hell;D Not that they were informative on any new content, but the UI itself really kicks butt atm. I also noticed how Jay mentioned quite a lot that things have to feel diabloish, or it wont be right. I really like that, and now I'm more confident Jay has what it takes to make a diablo game.

    Skill icons really show what the skill might do, without really checking it.

    I'd REALLY like to see what happens when you put a hydra rune in the Slow time talent;o

    Now when thinking about it... Anyone think the Hydra rune is actually the revamped version of Multistrike? I mean it does about the same thing, with another name. Since people thought "Multistrike rune" was such a bland name, perhaps they just changed it.
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