Jay Wilson on Inferno, Enrage Timers, Tiers, Alex Mayberry Interviews, Korean Commercial

Update 2: Added some blue posts about Enrage Timers and Inferno get progression. Important stuff
Update 1: Added Jay Wilson on Inferno video, with thanks to Knucker for the tip.

Jay Wilson on Inferno
A new interview with Jay Wilson has just been posted. This time its all about inferno!






Enrage Timers
Bashiok has given some more information on how enrage timers are going to work to help add just one more layer of difficulty in Inferno.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I know what some boss enrage timers are, but to save spoilers I'll transpose it onto the Skeleton King. So, as an imaginary example, in Inferno if you don't kill the Skeleton King within four minutes he starts spawning three times the amount of skeletons. That creates a much tougher situation, but it's one you could very well handle if played right.

People kiting the Skeleton King around for an hour with their level 3 characters is fun to see. It's not fun when it's level 60's at end game and item drops matter. To make these kills and thus a character's progression matter we need to try to fight cheesy tactics that allow people to just flop through the game.

Don't force people to be efficient if they don't want to be.
The point of the game is efficiency... Killing monsters as quickly as possible to maximize your time to find the drops you want. That is the game. I think you should do whatever you think is fun, absolutely, but if you want to go at a slower pace, not really worry much about maximizing efficiency, and just kind of take it at your own speed you're going to have a pretty rough time in Nightmare let alone Inferno. Hopefully as the game progresses and difficulty ramps up you're naturally being encouraged to tighten up your build and scrutinize your gear more and more.

In any case though, as I detailed the enrage timers aren't "I Win" buttons for the bosses, so a more defensive build should still be able to progress if they're geared and being played well.

With the Nephalem Valor buff the best loot is off champions, rares, and (assuming the buff is up) bosses. As I said the point is ensuring "legitimate" progression. But if someone wants to farm rares and champions in the beginning of Act I because they can't beat the Skeleton King, they should absolutely do that. And actually, everyone should be expecting to do exactly that when they reach Inferno.

You can very often achieve the same goal without the metagamey "I Win" button.
They aren't "I Win" buttons.

what exactly does the enrage timer hope to accomplish other than becoming an artificial barrier of progress?
Nope! You nailed it, that's the intent of an enrage timer.

I like how you throw in "artificial" as a negative. It's a video game. It's all designed and artificial. If there's a "natural" or "organic" way to stymie someone's attempt to cheese their way through a boss kill I'd be happy to hear it.

Gotta farm up that tier gear before you progress! Hello boring MMO structure.
Not a big Diablo fan, huh?




Item Tiers
With the video posted just today and the interview we posted a few days ago. People are already looking for more clarification on gear tiers in Inferno. Bashiok hit the forums with some information.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

There's a confusion of terms making this an issue, but it's really not one.

We separate out 'item tiers' for their visual appearance first and foremost. We have a number of "armor sets" (18?) in the game that match visually, and so we call them 'tiers' because there's no real better way to say it. When all of your items are from that 'tier', you'll match. That doesn't directly determine their stats, though.

They're spread out in a logical progression, and items get more awesome looking as you go further in the game. Ipso facto the higher the visual tier the better chance it's a more powerful item, but it doesn't preclude the possibility of it being worse. You can absolutely find an item from a visual tier back in Hell difficulty that's better than an item using a later visual tier in Inferno.

It's best to just expunge the term 'tier' from your minds, because it really has nothing to do with any kind of stair step or item upgrade approach. It's just models and textures.

Each Inferno act has its own item tiers?
Wasn't he referring to monster level? I'm pretty sure he was. Link?

"And there are items that ONLY drop at level 61, at level 62 and so on; and they're not small number!"
Thanks, I was skipping around trying to find it.

So yeah, I guess the visual looks are separated out by Act in Inferno. As I said though it doesn't guarantee or preclude an item of a specific 'tier' to be better of worse than another of near proximity.

As I said it's really a non-issue. We need to come up with a better name than 'tier' for the matching art sets, it just makes people think the power is tiered too. Matching art sets!? How about that? Art set? nah....

So, in order to progress to later acts in inferno, you need to find all your gear in inferno because of their looks?
I'm gonna go curl up in a ball.




Atomix Interview with Alex Mayberry
Atomix has had a chance to site down with Alex Mayberry for another great interview! This time around we get some info about how Blizzard handles the release schedules, some pvp, production and a few other goodies. Feel free to read the quick bullet point summary or watch the full video below for all the good stuff!


DiabloFans Quote:


Release Schedules
  • At most companies he has found that the schedules that they make are called "Right to Left" meaning they start at when they want to ship, and basically say "we can only do this amount of game to hit that date." However at Blizzard they start out with "What is the game we want to make" and then they figure out how long its going to take.
  • They have deadlines but they never announce them until they are 100% sure they are going to hit the date because they are always going to be trying new things. If they are not happy with the results, they will just keep trying new things.
  • They always want to have that option to say "Wait, no, its not perfect yet".
PvP
  • They wanted PvP to be there at launch, but they feel at the initial release people are going to be very focused on PvE and they didn't want to put out a PvP experience that was not perfect.
  • They had so much work on the PvE side, they felt is was better to just wait, and do it right! They would have liked it to be there at launch, however.
Pleasing Fans
  • The first goal is to get the game to a level they can love. Next they need to open it up to the rest of the company. The team works on something for so many years, they need that fresh look on the game. However, even they are professionals. So then the next step is to open it up to the community and get feedback from there.
  • Every week he gets feedback given to him from many regions rounded up from the forums.
  • They want to see what the fans are saying that they agree with. If they agree they make that change.
Inspiration
  • All games give them inspiration, everyone at blizzard are gamers, but not just gamers but "students of design" who study what works and does not work.
  • They also gain inspiration from movies and art. Basically anything that inspires them gets added.
  • They have a philosophy that every voice matters, and that extends to the world for them. They want to absorb it all.
Production
  • He has been working in the industry for over 20 years, and Diablo III was by far the most challenging game.
  • When you look at the finished game it looks kind of simple compared to other games (production wise), but because of what the game engine is doing with all the random possibilities they can't even test all the possibilities because there are infinite possibilities. This makes it extremely challenging.
Beta
  • They love having betas as it really helps them test in ways they just can't. You can easily have bugs that only show up when only 100,000 people are playing.
  • It also lets them get that last minute feedback from the community that they really love.
  • The open beta helped them find a good 12 to 15 issues that they didn't know about until all those players joined the servers. Though this may have been frustrating for the players, it was fantastic for Blizzard. They were able to find these issues and have them already fixed for when the game is released.
Cinematics
  • As much work goes into the cinematics as what goes into the game itself.
  • They must stay in constant contact with the cinematics team becasue if something does not match up, its not something they can just go back and change.
  • They need to make sure the story and the environments match up.
  • They have only just recently finished up all the cinematics in the game!!
Localization
  • Digital copy will be available on may 15th. Physical copy will be in stores June 7th for Argentina.
  • They put a LOT of effort into the translation. It will feel like that game is made for just them.




Interview with Alex Mayberry
PuntoGames has posted an interview with Alex Mayberry as he made his way through Argentina. Check the previous three interviews. You can watch the full video below the bullet points of the interview.


DiabloFans Quote:


Most popular character
  • Classes designed so that each character has a different play style.
  • All classes are equally strong but in different ways.
  • Classes will probably be decided on by play style preference.
  • Alex's favorite classes are the Barbarian and the Wizard.
Inspiration
  • Team is taken out to watch new movies for inspiration.
  • Inspiration is taken from all over.
Auction House
  • Wanted to provide a safe environment since it was going to happen outside of the game anyway.
Randomization
  • Almost everything in the game is random.
  • Dungeons may have 25 rooms but those are pooled from 75-100 rooms.
  • Monster locations and groupings are random with elites randomly added.
20 years later
  • They wanted to move the story forward to get people past the Diablo II events.
  • Makes the demonic invasion fresh for the characters in the game and new to our characters.
  • Makes Deckard Cain's prophecy harder for the characters to believe.
Developing Diablo
  • All staff were huge fans of the franchise.
  • Wanted to retain the core of Diablo but expand with newer technology
  • Some things they tried but took back out because it derailed too far from the original games.
  • Ended with a lot of new changes to get use to but hopefully feels the same as the other Diablo games.
  • Wanted to create a game that new and old players would enjoy.
Consoles
  • Still not announcing any console title but they do have a console team to help create a game that was made for consoles and not just a port.
Alex's job
  • Alex works with every department and his day-to-day is extremely different but over all, he loves the creativity and perfectionism his job requires to create high quality games.
  • The team does not always agree and those creative tensions create better ideas.
  • The skill system was something that they worked on extensively and one of his greatest efforts.
Localization
  • Blizzard is expanding globally so they spent extra time with their localization and top tier translators to help create a game that felt like it was made for them instead of just translated.




Korean Diablo III Commercial
Bashiok tweeted another commerical today. However this time around its a Korean commercial. It also seems to be highlights taken from another video on the Korean Blizzard youtube channel. If you're dying to know what its saying afkalmighty gives a very quick translation of whats going on!





Irvine Launch Question/Problem

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I would be surprised if we're relying on the store's normal stock to fill the potential demand at the event. On the other hand the number of Collector's Editions we printed is finite so maybe it's not out of the realm of possibility. Thanks for bringing it up though, I'll pass this along/look into it.

Ive been to a midnight release of every blizzard game made starting with Diablo 2. Only ONCE have i seen a gaming shop have extra collectors editions.
Well, to be fair, product availability tends to be a little different at our official events. The Fry's we've had most of our official US events at had so many Burning Crusade CE's they still had copies 2+ years after the expansion released.

Quick side query there Bashiok; Why do we not see any Blizzard events in Australia? Namely no Diablo 3 Launch? You have the playerbase here for certain..
We think it'd be keen! But with a regional midnight launch in pacific time it means the down under is about to play in the early evening. Having a midnight launch event didn't make much sense when the servers are up for you at 3-5pm. Open to feedback on that though.

bashiok.. is getting your signature or playing of the game more important?
Signature, as I'm set to be signing until 2am I want as many people as possible to be unable to start playing right at midnight.

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