BlizzCon 2016 Day 2 - Live Updates

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BlizzCon 2016 Day 2 - Live Updates

Day 2 of BlizzCon has concluded. We will be giving you a full recap with many more screenshots tomorrow!

In the meantime, click the Banner below for our Day 1 Recap, including the new Necromancer Class, the Diablo Anniversary event and more upcoming changes.

All the info from Day 2 is still available in our live updates below.

 

Art & Design Panel

  • Live Necromancer drawing session on stage with Michael Franchina. Thanks to /r/Diablo mod Thunderclaww for this shot.

Lightning Talks

  • Making the Anniversary Event feel more like Diablo I: De-saturated Colors, smaller Light Radius, more pixelated, weaker physics engine, fewer variations for sounds and animations, classical sound effects and music, changed monster behaviors, retro UI and font.
  • Character animations: Reactions are very important, each click needs to have immediate impact, cool animations that last too long won't make it into the game.
  • Animating the Necromancer: Two main concepts narrowed down from what the team came up with: "The Conductor", and "Too cool for school".
  • PC vs. Console development: Formerly two teams, now merged to one. Difference in control schemes is massive for UI development. Another difference is local Co-op: You can't split up too much, how to handle opening Rifts together? What if one player doesn't want to/can't join, does he just sit there? Solution here. Translation between PC and console usually harder than you'd think.
  • Server downtime: Downtime happens when server software needs to be updated for bugfixes and content patches. How to get rid of downtime? Need two sets of servers, one for old patch and another for the new one.
  • This leads to several issues: Players on the new patch can't play with ones on the old patch. What happens if people link a new item in chat to someone on an old server? What if you played a patched character on one machine, then switched to an unpatched machine and tried to play that character there? No way to make this work, but the other direction is made possible by backwards compatibility.

Interview with Kevin Martens, Lead Game Deisgner

  • Excited about bringing back the coolest class.
  • "Massive laundry list of additional stuff" to be announced later today, including "an overhaul of Greater Rifts".
  • New Zones: Shrouded Moors: Twisted trees, civilization could get a foothold, because under them lies the Temple of the Firstborn, a now demonic area where the first Nephilim lived.
  • The team loved working on the anniversary event, and it grew much beyond its original scope with people working on it in their own time.
  • The Necromancer and Anniversary Event have only been in production starting earlier this year.
  • Question on trading coming back: They want people to not need trading, since getting an item from a monster is much more memorable.

Dev Talk and Q&A Panel

  • On stage: Lead Game Designer Kevin Martens and Senior Game Deisgners Wyatt Cheng, Adam Puhl, Joe Shely, and Travis Day
  • Seasons will be coming to consoles in 2017. They will basically be functionally identical to those on PC, including the Leaderboards, Season Journey and its rewards.
  • Upcoming Season's reward: Seraphim Wings
  • Crafting Materials will be integrated into the UI, no longer taking up space in your inventory. This includes Bounty Mats and Hellfire event items. You'll still need to click them to pick them up, though.
  • Kanai's Cube will get a button to fill it with the materials of the active recipe.
  • The Mystic will get an extra tab containing all existing dyes! No more need to run through all vendors to find the proper dye.
  • If you finish a Greater Rift without dying, you will get an additional Legendary Gem upgrade (HC characters always will).
  • New Zones coming to the north of Act II: The Shrouded Moors, a rain-swept, windy, desolate place. People tried to settle it, but never could stay.
  • Second Zone: Temple of the Firstborn, where Inarius and Lilith first set foot on Sanctuary. It is set deep underground and has a Lovecraftian vibe.
  • The Realms of Fate allow for transitions between zones/tile sets without actually leaving a zone.
  • We'll also be getting plenty of new monster types to fit the new zones.
  • Greater Rift changes: New algorithm to spawn monsters in Greater Rifts: No more huge empty areas!
  • There's now also a higher chance to get a new tile set when descending a level, same for the monster types in each one.
  • GR Floor sizes are more consistent now.
  • Floor entry areas are now monster-free.
  • Monster behavior: Leaping monsters can now be killed in mid-air; Invisible/buried monsters will now emerge faster.
  • Elite affixes: Reflects damage will now shoot projectiles back at you instead of simply dealing damage instantly; Shielding will cancel instantly on the last monster of the pack.
  • Item Changes: Saffron Wrap: Increases Overpower damage by ~50% per enemy hit on the previous Overpower, max 20 enemies.
  • Manald Heal: Enemies stunned with Paralysis also take ~2700% weapon damage as Lightning.
  • Faithful Memory: Each enemy hit by Falling Sword increases the damage of Blessed Hammer by ~50% for 5 seconds.
  • Rabid Strike: Spirit Spenders that teleport you while Epiphany is active are also mimicked on a distant target for free.
  • Hellcat Waistgaurd: Grenades have a chance to bounce ~5 times dealing an additional 50% damage on each bounce, 800% on the final bounce.
  • The Barber: Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop channeling, it explodes dealing ~250% of the accumulated damage within 15 yards.
  • Challenge Rifts: Timed GR run where everyone has the same hero, same build, same dungeon layout, same monsters, same pylons
  • Will be updated frequently.
  • Content comes from Rifts run by regular players.
  • You can use them to have a look at builds you don't know yet.
  • Competing will require you to learn both, the build and the layout.
  • There will be Leaderboards for them.
  • You'll be rewarded if you beat the original player's time on the Rift, most likely with Bounty Bags for your own character.
  • When entering in multiplayer, all the players will be using the exact same character.
  • 2.4.3 will be on PTR next week, it will contain the Anniversary Event, the new Legendaries, the Mystic UI, and the Rift improvements
  • Later: Armory, Necromancer, Challenge Rifts, Crafting UI, new Zones.
  • Q&A time!
  • Q: Toggle for Walk/Run? A: No. Don't see the need, can walk in the Anniversary Dungeon though.
  • Q: Tathamet, where is he, shouldn't he be about with all the Evils in the Soulstone? A: Can't spoil anything. Maybe?
  • Q: Necro only gear? A: 1h Scythe, but probably not a shield, that's just a demo thing. Off-hand isn't decided on yet, but will likely be similar to Wizard / With Doctor.
  • Q: Plans for more lore-heavy dungeons? A: The new zones will have lore moments, especially the Temple of the Firstborn. But since most people play mostly Adventure Mode, the non-linearity is important, so this approach is preferable.
  • Q: More CGI movies for the story, maybe like Overwatch? A: Wouldn't tease anything in advance here. Want to add more lore to the world, but no specifics to share now.
  • Q: Hacking on consoles, especially with regards to Leaderboards? A: Engineers are working on it. Seasons on console will be XB1 and PS4 only, so old hacked items won't be there. More details closer to launch.
  • Q: When killing Diablo in Diablo I, the loot drops but you get a cutscene. Do I get my loot 20 years later? A: Not 20 year old loot, but this time, you'll get to pick it up, including the Legendary Soul Gem.
  • Q: Bone Wand as main Weapon, fells more at home? A: Not as a weapon type, but possibly as a Legendary/Set item, would fit well.
  • Q: Corpse explosion felt a bit lackluster, help? A: Was tuned down just before the BlizzCon demo, will be looked at much more.
  • Q: Challenge Rift strategy in the video: Skip white mobs - you ok with that? A: If it's just for some builds, then yeah. If all builds do that, it's an issue.
  • Q: Plans for Legendary affixes that are really powerful but not cube-able? A: No plans, no. Legendaries should complement play styles or be cool.
  • Q: Which other characters were under consideration to put in the game? A: Brand new ones, or fan-favorites like Druid, Amazon, all the ones you'd expect.
  • Q: Do you want to make more timed content? A: Tend to lean towards permanent content. Depending on how the anniversary event goes, it's possible though. But things feel more special when they aren't always there. Challenge Rifts will kind of do that, though, since they will cycle through and won't return in the same form.
  • Q: Pet AI can be kind of strange, any plans for improvements? A: Pet AI is being looked at periodically.
  • Q: Plans to bring the LoN Set back up to par with the other sets? A: Wouldn't say it's not up to par right now, and new Legendaries might just make it stronger passively. Happy with LoN's position right now.
  • Q: Will Armory actually hold items or do they need to be in your stash/inventory? A: No, will need to be in inv or stash.
  • Q: Controller support for PC? A: No plans.
  • Q: Any plans for a boss-only Rift? A: Maybe, the idea has come up.
  • And that's a wrap!
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