Interview With Josh Mosquiera, Diablo 3 PlayStation Q&A at E3, Density and MP Settings on Console, Differences on Console and It

Interview With Josh Mosquiera
Diablo.somepage.com had the great opportunity to talk to Diablo 3's new Game Director Josh Mosquiera and developers Travis Day and Kevin Martens. The interview was released in three parts with the last one being recently published. We've summarized some of the more interesting things that the devs shared. You can read the three parts of the interview here, here and here.
  • The Itemization patch, or "Loot 2.0", will release after Blizzcon. Blizzard does not want to publish small chunks of updates, but instead intend to do a full overhaul
  • All Legendary items should have unique properties, some examples include a set bonus that makes Call of the Ancients last forever and a Treasure Goblin that follows the character, picking up grey and white items and sometimes throwing the player magical items
  • Items could become upgradeable, making them also non-tradable
  • The 2 billion gold Auction House cap might get raised, but it's a fairly complex thing to do technically
  • Least used class skills are what gets most attention when balancing classes. Developers want to bring more build diveristy and constantly strive for it
  • Some Elite packs are harder than bosses, because the later are more of a celebration element in the storyline. With that said the experience from developing the bosses on PC and later on console versions has tought the development team a lot and new bosses that make their way into the game will be much better
  • The PC version of D3 might get updated with some of the console features
  • The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are identical in gameplay and mechanics
  • Console development didn't start until after the PC game launched, as the console team was brought in to help finish the title for PC
  • Jay Wilson allowed "whatever tweaks are needed" to properly translate Diablo 3 to consoles



Diablo 3 PlayStation Q&A at E3
Josh Mosquiera and Jason Bender gave a Q&A at E3, which was later posted by Blizz Pro. In it the developers talk about making Diablo work well with a controller, the gear swap feature, online and offline play and exclusive console content.





Monster Density and Monster Power Settings on Console
Monster Density and Monster Power will actually be slightly different on consoles.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)


Monster density has been custom tailored for the consoles, since the pace of combat is different than the PC counterpart. We wanted to make sure combat flow was smooth and action packed, so you can be sure that we've kept that in mind as we adjusted the density.

Let me be more specific: The monster density updates you added in 1.08 JUST for inferno, is that coming to console?
Yes and no.

Difficulty levels and Monster Power operate a little differently on console. There will still be Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno, and completing one mode will unlock the next mode -- just like on PC. Also, within each of these modes players will able to select from different difficulty levels to suit their preferred level of challenge. On console, however, there are only 8 settings: Easy, Medium, Hard, Master I, Master II, Master III, Master IV, and Master V. At Medium and higher in Inferno, density does increase, but the increase won't be as significant as what you'd typically see on PC (due to performance issues). Similar to MP on PC, higher difficulty settings present more powerful enemies that will have opportunity to reward players with more powerful loot.

For perspective, here's the current scaling (note that this may change before we ship):
  • Easy = Monster Power 0
  • Medium = Monster Power 2
  • Hard = Monster Power 4
  • Master I = Monster Power 6
  • Master II = Monster Power 7
  • Master III = Monster Power 8
  • Master IV = Monster Power 9
  • Master V = Monster Power 10
Hope that helps!




Differences on Console and Itemization Info
Lylirra has made a post regarding some of the changes the console version will have compared to the PC version. Later on she talks about the upcoming itemization patch.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Interesting quote! (Also, apologies in advance for the TL;DR response.)

While the core of the console game is based on the PC game -- you get all the same content, systems, classes, skills, and runes on the console as you do on PC -- the console version of Diablo III is really its own thing. It's a familiar, but ultimately unique experience. Our goal when developing Diablo III for console was to deliver that same visceral gameplay you get with a mouse and keyboard, but at the same time feel completely natural when using a controller. (Basically, whichever platform you prefer for gaming, you can pick that version and know that it was tweaked to be best suited for the platform of your choice.)

In order to achieve that, we've made a variety of tweaks to the the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, including a complete re-design of the UI and character controls, inventory management, as well as combat pacing and boss fights. The item game is predominantly the same, but we've also made some minor adjustments to itemization. Items will drop less frequently, but will typically be of higher quality. There's a chance that when a white or gray item drops, that it will be automatically converted to gold too. These changes were made to help manage the flow of gameplay and keep players in the midst of combat (and out of their inventory screens) as much possible. Inventory management is a little more difficult on the console version than it is on the PC, where you have a mouse to quickly navigate through menus, so this was a pretty key tweak for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Many of these adjustments inspired future changes we'd like to make to PC, and many of them were inspired by plans we already had for improving itemization as a whole. Since we use staggered development (meaning, the PC and console games more or less have separate teams and development cycles), though, it's possible that one game will receive changes before another. Over time, which game that is may switch back and forth. Even so, PC will always be the lead platform.

Regardless, here are a few interviews and hands-on reviews from PAX East you may want to check out. I've only highlighted ones where itemization on console gets addressed, but I figured this was kind of important, as it lets you get the information directly from the developers. :)

Penny Arcade Report
Kotaku
IGN (Skip to 5:25)

Thank you for linking that blog. I wanted to confirm how long ago it was, and three months is a long time to stand around and do nothing, from a player's perspective. Ask the Devs isn't even done, and the blog came before it, three months ago. Three months
Correct. Sometimes, changes to games can be made quickly. But that's not always the case, especially when you're looking at a system (like itemization) that's very core to the game itself. We can definitely understand that players would like said changes made overnight -- heck, we would too -- but we'd much rather take our time and come up with something that's actually meaningful and relevant, rather than implement something quickly that doesn't satisfy the current problems and/or make the game anymore engaging.

Everything we get is super rushed feeling instead of complete and considering the amount of time you guys spend being mum about things, we are being reasonable to doubt you guys care.
We know that some players feel that way about previous changes we've made (i.e. legendary improvements), and it's not unreasonable. Even if that's not actually the case, that's part of the reason why we're taking things a little more slowly this time around and really looking at more big/sweeping changes to the core of the item game.

That's disrespectful towards the community, even though I know you guys regret that the itemization blog came out so soon (e.g. Travis Day said that in his interview with Archon on Twitch). Once it's done, just stand up to it, don't hide your heads behind your hands, like they could cover you.

So, Lylirra, this comes from a respectful player who loves D3 : why did you guys stop communicating about itemization for so long ? You come out as very unprofessional, especially after you yourself said you guys were going to make efforts to communicate with the community
That's fair. At the moment, we just don't have a lot of details to share about itemization (beyond what we've already communicated). Our goal is always to share new information once it's available, but the tricky part is what to communicate in between those points. Do we just reiterate what we've already said? Do we talk high-level only? Or do we just remain mum until that new information is out? Players are definitely divided on what they want.

Going to back to Travis's blog, itemization was a very popular topic and we wanted to acknowledge the concerns that players had officially, even if we didn't have a lot of details to share about how we were going to approach specific pain points. That was also feedback we'd heard a lot of: "We don't care if you don't have any details to share. Just respond to us." And so that particular developer journal blog was born, as well as the following Ask the Devs topic.

The upside to posting Travis's blog when we did is that is tackled some of the major discussions players were having while they were new and relevant. It was also a direct response to the feedback we'd been given. The downside is that the blog came out just as we were starting to approach our itemization revamp, so there's not been a lot of new information to share between then and now. We're still working on the same ideas and theories, but nothing's really reached a point where we can communicate that a) these are the things have been locked down and B) here are all the details of how those systems will work. Also, the communication we've provided on those "in-between" stages has been met with a lot of criticism (see the responses to the all itemization-related "Ask the Devs" answers) so far. Some people even said: "I don't know why you're even bothering to answer this if you don't have any details to share" -- which was the exact opposite feedback we'd heard just a few weeks prior.

We'd love to do more informal chats like what Travis and Wyatt did with Archon on the May 15, where the developers just take some time to casually talk about the game and their approach to certain issues. We might not have a lot of new information to share in those chats, but at least it would establish a nice of cadence of conversation. Less formal, more frequent.

But I don't know -- is that something that you guys would appreciate? We're always willing to experiment and find out what method works best to getting you information about the game. (Granted, it may not always be new information since Diablo III doesn't iterate as frequently as games like World of Warcraft or ones that are still in beta, but I think just having some transparency and candid communication with the developers would be nice.)

Over a decade and counting ain't enough?
Not sure what you're actually looking for here with your comment? We admit the item game we created in Diablo III has flaws, we've openly admitted those flaws to our players and that we want to improve them. The next big step is to identify the right way to fix those flaws and, in the process, really re-capture that lust for loot and feeling of "HOLY CRAP ORANGE" that many players feel is missing right now.

Yes almost 100% console version will have 1.0.9
Going to nip this one in the bud. The console version of Diablo III will ship with all of 1.0.7 content, plus some features from 1.0.8 -- but that's it. Detailed that a little more here: http://us.battle.net...ic/9245624848#4

Comments

  • #1 Ducha
    "The PC version of D3 might get updates with some of the console features"

    Interesting.......
  • #2 mac_orion
    who the f is jason bender, the face of josh when he says leoric skeleton summoning ring, wasnt it leorics gauntlets? must be one of those producers that cut down half of the game, i dont think the devs were happy about dumbing down the game, i think the real issue are the producers (they control what will actually be made and what not, the devs are only the creative part)
  • #3 Serpenth
    Quote from Ducha

    "The PC version of D3 might get updates with some of the console features"

    Interesting.......


    I assume that means better boss fights. I'm not sure what features the console has that they would consider implementing to PC version other than that. No they won't just remove the AH or make the game offline available.

    though who knows at this point. I'm really beginning to think this game will be totally different the night the expansion launches.
  • #4 rawerpower
    Itemization patch in after november 9( that's Blizzcon )? Could easily be december or 2014 ! WTF ?
  • #5 Kageromero
    Quote from rawerpower

    Itemization patch in after november 9( that's Blizzcon )? Could easily be december or 2014 ! WTF ?


    Yeah...really sad to hear that, quite sad really, considering most people were looking forward to an expansion being announced at blizzcon and released early 2014, but looks like thats when we can expect the item patch instead, which means even longer from the expansion. Wonder what makes it take so long here, but on wow they can pump out insane amounts of content so quickly
  • #6 Elendiro
    Whoever hired Josh Mosquiera needs a beating.
  • #7 Ducha
    Quote from Elendiro

    Whoever hired Josh Mosquiera needs a beating.
    Oh man, I really hope that's a joke.

    Can we not start this whole hate train again. It's comments like that that make our community look bad.
  • #8 Jamoose
    Cool stuff imo.
  • #9 Efrye
    Even more non-tradeable items? No thanks.
  • #10 Shooa
    Quote from Efrye

    Even more non-tradeable items? No thanks.


    Yes please. Make the whole game untradable for what i care.
    You want this patch to become AH 2.0? *Shrug*
    Please tell me ppl dont share his opinion. :(
  • #11 Efrye
    Wheres your problem? Don't trade if you don't want to. The items wouldn't become worse just because of being tradeable.
  • #12 Richter82
    Quote from Efrye

    Wheres your problem? Don't trade if you don't want to. The items wouldn't become worse just because of being tradeable.


    Making items non-tradeable when upgraded will help keep the economy fresh. As it is right now its pretty hard to find anything worth selling.
  • #13 Efrye
    If the BiS items are non-tradeable you can't sell items for that slot very well either. Furthermore there should be better solutions to economy problems than just binding items to characters/accounts. Like giving players a meaningful opportunity to salvage items without just producing more garbage as it is now.
  • #14 Tempster
    Quote from Efrye

    If the BiS items are non-tradeable you can't sell items for that slot very well either. Furthermore there should be better solutions to economy problems than just binding items to characters/accounts. Like giving players a meaningful opportunity to salvage items without just producing more garbage as it is now.


    There shouldn't be BiS items in the first line. That's the whole problem at the moment that 90% of all classes and all speccs need the same items.
  • #15 Richter82
    Quote from Efrye

    If the BiS items are non-tradeable you can't sell items for that slot very well either. Furthermore there should be better solutions to economy problems than just binding items to characters/accounts. Like giving players a meaningful opportunity to salvage items without just producing more garbage as it is now.


    But they will be tradeable before you upgrade them! That item will still be BIS, being a good base to upgrade on.
  • #16 Efrye
    Quote from Richter82

    But they will be tradeable before you upgrade them! That item will still be BIS, being a good base to upgrade on.


    So there won't be a difference on whether the upgraded or the non-upgraded item gets sold in regards of a healthy economy. Just that you have a piece of garbage in your inventory once you replace that item.

    Quote from Tempster

    There shouldn't be BiS items in the first line. That's the whole problem at the moment that 90% of all classes and all speccs need the same items.


    I understand that pretty much, but people are just cursing the auction house for the games misery which is just wrong. And they will see this once this BoA stuff is driving even further. People won't admit it, the complaints just won't wear off.
    Just this morning I told someone, the AH would be less of a problem if not everyone was interested in the exact same stats on a specific item slot like main stat + vita + chc + chd. The demand for items would be spread more widely and the prices more balanced.
    Furthermore the chance to find an expensive item would be higher since the garbage rate would be lower automatically. Also the price of the most expensive items would be lower in relation to the rest of the items because not all players need that exact item.

    And people who don't want to trade: just making items tradeable doesn't make them harder to obtain through gameplay.
  • #17 Slayardarklaws
    Upgradeable item? I love upgradeable item! Who cares if you can't trade them? This could make the x months wait worth it for me.

    No MP1 for the console guys? They're kinda screwed if you ask me
  • #18 Richter82
    Quote from Efrye



    So there won't be a difference on whether the upgraded or the non-upgraded item gets sold in regards of a healthy economy. Just that you have a piece of garbage in your inventory once you replace that item.



    It does make a difference on the economy. Once an item gets upgraded it's not something you can trade anymore meaning that the supply is reduced on the AH. See the hardcore economy for a live example where items get removed frequently from the game by characters dying.
  • #19 Bagstone
    Quote from Tempster

    There shouldn't be BiS items in the first line. That's the whole problem at the moment that 90% of all classes and all speccs need the same items.


    There will always be BiS items. Maybe not one clear BiS like WH, but at least a couple of BiS items that dominate. And unless you create class-specific affixes for 2 or more items on each slot, you'll also have several classes that aim for the same item.
  • #20 Efrye
    Quote from Richter82

    It does make a difference on the economy. Once an item gets upgraded it's not something you can trade anymore meaning that the supply is reduced on the AH. See the hardcore economy for a live example where items get removed frequently from the game by characters dying.


    Thats why I mentioned to give an OPTION to salvage very good items to something useful instead of garbage as it is now. The whole point is about creating an item sink. But in my opinion is binding items to an account the wrong way. Just give the players the opportunity to ALSO do something else with their items than just selling. For example items could get an internal rating for their quality and salvaging would give rewards according to that rating. Salvage results for very good items could be used to add sockets to an item or even to do an upgrade in the first place.
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