In the recent interview with Diablo3.CC, it was discussed that Bind on Equip (BoE) items have been removed from the game. Originally, this type of item was added as a way to help remove items from the limitless economy. In Diablo II, a mass of any item, no matter how rare, could and would end up piling up as millions of players collected these items. Over time, it was inevitable that these items would amass and become common place in the economy. In order to correct this problem, ladder resets were used to help "dump" the economy and start back from zero. Occurring periodically, the ladder resets would erase all of the hard work and time put into the game to obtain these items. Blizzard has admitted that this was not the best way to handle this situation and definitely wanted to find another solution to the problem that a loot heavy game like Diablo creates.
This brings us to the BoE items. BoE are items that became permanently attached to that character. When you would un-equip the item, you are not allowed to trade it to another player for them to equip. If no longer needed, the only thing to do with it was to sell it to a vendor, essentially removing it from the economy. To not completely discourage players, it was said that in Diablo III, the BoE items actually bound themselves to your account so you could still equip it with other characters on your account. However, even with this advantage, many people still did not like the system. Whether it was because it discourages the item trading that is iconic of Diablo or because it was too similar to another game (I won't mention the name), not everyone was happy with this decision. Luckily for those people, Blizzard has, through their countless hours of iteration, decided that they to did not like this solution.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Yeah, we realized that binding is kind of a crappy way to pull items out of the economy. If you say that the average player produces 100 items an hour and maybe gets 1 upgrade in that time, then binding at best can account for removing 1% of items from the economy. And that's being very generous at high levels.
Binding isn't really substantial in making a viable economy, but it is really good at establishing item prestige. Which is how it's used in WoW.
We expect salvaging to be compelling enough to remove a good percentage of the most valuable items from the economy. High end components obtained from salvaging high end items are needed for high end crafting and enhancement.
We're not promising anything on patch content, but we also feel that keeping up on introducing new items consistently will keep it from being possible for a glut of the best items from building as 'the best' can be a constantly moving target.
As it stands now, BoE is officially gone from the game. Instead of using this system as a way to remove items, Blizzard has decided that their salvaging and crafting system is going to be much more effective in controlling the amount of items that remain in the game. As stated in the quote, in order to craft high-level items, similar items will be needed to salvage for the materials. So, if a player wants to craft an legendary sword for their Barbarian, then they may have to salvage one or two (just a guess for the example) other legendary items to get the one item they need. This will effectively remove some of these items from the game and, in addition, allow the player to create an item that he can use from these unneeded items.
Another tool they plan on using to help control the economy is through patching of the game. As Bashiok stated, if the desired and horded item that players want is constantly changing, then players are less likely to amass these items. Through patching, they can continuously add new items to the game so that players constantly have a new goal for end-game gear and this will help items from getting stagnant and building up through the years. Whether or not you were happy with BoE, it's nice to see that Blizzard is constantly testing, iterating, and changing the game to make sure that everything works best for Diablo III.
Moving on from BoE items, Bashiok also clarified some information about how set items will work. Just a little bit ago, we had gotten information that how set items were being implemented was still a work in progress. We even held a poll to see what you guys thought about set items and how you would like them to function. It seems that they have finally decided on how they wanted to implement the items (Sign of Beta).
Official Blizzard Quote:
Set items are now legendaries defined by a set bonus. They're crafted items while leveling (recipes can be found that grant the ability to craft all the items in a set), which allows someone to really invest in filling out a set before they out-level it. Then at max level we'll drop set pieces normally.
Surprisingly, or maybe not so, it seems that they have gone with a combination of the two poll options that you guys decided upon was the best solution. While leveling in the game, set items will be able to be crafted through the drops of a recipe. Once obtaining this one recipe, it will unlock the ability to craft an entire set of items. However, it is important to note that you will still need to gain enough materials to craft each individual item through salvaging other items. Oddly, this idea of crafting items was never something mentioned by Blizzard and was only added to DiabloFans' poll because of the idea from Junction3 while I was creating this poll. This is not to say the idea was not tossed around internally long ago, but it's nice to see that our opinion (according to the poll) is an idea that has made it's way into the game.
The second way to obtain set items will be through end-game loot drops. Actual set items will still be dropping in the later levels of the game for players to collect to create their full sets. This adds yet one more goal to complete at end-game, which they apparently still have plans for, so that we still have something to do after completing the game on Hell difficulty. It is important to note though that these set items will be dropping in addition to the crafting recipes so there will still be two ways to help complete a set for your character.
Now for those of you concerned about this increase of importance on crafting, not every item you will have on your character at end-game will all be obtained through crafting. Diablo has been and remains to be a game that is based on gearing your character through random loot drops. As Bashiok states, their plan is to have a well-rounded collection of item types that will be useful for your character.
Official Blizzard Quote:
It's one of the sources. If we do things right we'll see end-game players with a mix of legendary, rare, and crafted items.
Thanks to Cherubdown for bringing this Bashiok quote to my attention. If anyone finds any Diablo related news, you can always PM myself or anyone else on the news team with the info. It is always appreciated.
A post went up on Diablo3.cc, a Chinese Diablo fansite, covering their exclusive interview with Jay Wilson. Aside from a few snapshots of the strapping Chinaman and Wilson himself, the interview led to some information you may have been awaiting for some time.
(We encourage you to give our Chinese friends their due traffic by clicking here and trying to discern the information for youself.)
About two-fifths of the way down the page, Jay confirmed that there will be no item-binding. Elaboration was thin going by the translation, but based on context it's likely safe to assume that this decision maintains the more free-flowing inventory aesthetic present in earlier Diablo games. Further in-house translation here at DiabloFans (spam zhuge lots of thank-you PM's--his Chinese heritage has contributed some clearer translations) seems to have confirmed this will be across all items, regardless of type or quality.
Jay stressed that the arena may be better suited to testing out various character builds than "official" dueling. This may be nothing new, but he did mention that they may introduce official tournaments with the arena, something typically seen in Blizzard's other franchises. However, because of balancing (see Bashiok on Skill Balancing in PvE and PvP), the decision seems to still be in the air. He stated that primarily because of the heavy focus on customization in Diablo III, the game will not be suited to e-sports, even if they come through with Blizzard-sanctioned matches and tournaments.
With the release of Diablo II's take on item hoarding, the magic find attribute is either a topic of love or hate among fans. Regardless, it's in Diablo III and it's here to stay. However, during the interview Jay Wilson did state that "magic find in Diablo III is second place. It's not the only thing you can do." One of these "other" things is likely the arena, but we've yet to see any other alternatives to the grind seen in previous games.
For all you Necromancer coots, he's been officially confirmed as a returning NPC. Oh, and Diablo's a confirmed returning character in the game. Go figure
Thanks to doomscream for alerting us of this news and a special thanks to zhuge and his father for a the translation of the interview.
Hai everyone, here's the seventh episode of our DiabloCast. This week was we talked a little bit about mercenaries and followers, but our overall theme was the Encounters System. If you missed the sixth episode, you can check it out here. Otherwise, the seventh episode covered the following topics:
A few days ago, we received what seems to be a hint from @Diablo that there will be some form of follower system in Diablo III, and after that Bashiok let us know that followers have been a part of the game since before it was announced:
Official Blizzard Quote:
We're not quite ready to talk about our approach, but I will say it's something that's been a part of the game since before announcement. We have a very solid direction for them.
However, even though we know followers will be present in the final product, there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the follower system, and you certainly don't have to agree with their implementation. Below is a summary of how hirelings worked in Diablo II and what we know about the follower system in Diablo III.
In Diablo II, there was a different type of hireling for each act, with the exception of Act IV. The first act gave you access to a ranged Rouge mercenary after defeating Blood Raven. Once you progressed to Act II you were allowed to enlist the help of a Desert Mercenary. After that, Act III gave you access to the Iron Wolf mercenaries. Without the Lord of Destruction expansion, hirelings could not equip items, did not level up, and were only available during the Act they were bought in, but all of that was changed with the expansion. Lord of Destruction also added a Barbarian mercenary in Act V. Hirelings could be selected from long lists of many different options, for example the Rouge could fire arrows imbued with different elements depending on your selection. However, despite these options the only noticeable differences were between hirelings from different acts.
In Diablo III, the hireling system has gone through an overhaul. They are now called followers, and they have been split up into two different groups. The first type, as seen in the announcement video, are temporary followers.
Official Blizzard Quote:
As you saw in the demo, if you got the quest where you could rescue the adventurers or their leader, those guys are a light level, where they are just along for the quest or they are just cannon fodder. You can't really control them or have anything to do with them at all.
Clearly these followers clearly aren't full replacements to the hirelings of Diablo II, but they are the only ones that we've seen in action. Temporary followers could surely prove valuable during hard quests or dungeons, but they offer very little in the form of interaction.
The second type of follower seems to be closer to the hirelings we know from Diablo II.
Official Blizzard Quote:
When you have what we are calling followers, they are the guys you can equip, give them different weapons, you can give them different armor. They will probably have some quests that involve them. Much more than in Diablo II, you could equip them but they were more like a game mechanic in a body of an NPC. Where this time, were making them much more individuals with their own back story and their own reason for being in the world.
[There will be different types to hire but this time they will be] much more specific. They were very interchangeable in Diablo II, they just had different skills. These ones are going to be much more geared toward certain gameplay types you'd say. Depending on how you play your class...I might be a barbarian, so I don't want another tank, I want a range or, I might want another tank.
Clearly Blizzard has ideas for a more expanded system than what we saw in Diablo II, and hopefully there will be good backstories to go along with these more permanent followers. As Boyarsky explains, these followers seem to be something of a replacement for another player at your side. From this description, it seems as if they are capable of filling in as a tank for a character that has to avoid damage, and the choices will go beyond small skill changes. However, it should be noted that these quotes are from 2009, and as a result the system could have changed by the time it is revealed, but as of now it is the only information we have on followers.
So now that you know how hirelings worked in Diablo II, and how they are expected to work in Diablo III, which system do you like more? Would you like Diablo III to feature a system similar to the previous game? Do you just want temporary followers, or do you not want followers in Diablo III at all? Vote in the poll above and express your opinion in the topic below
Last week's poll was essentially a split decision between people who will strike a balance between PvE and PvP (29%), those who will PvP once in a while (27%), and the most popular choice was "Maybe once I'm done with PvE" (31%). If you would still like to vote in that poll, or just want to talk about PvP, head over to the thread in the link above.
Blizzard released BlizzCast Episode 16, about an hour or so ago. Most of you may notice that it's specifically on the WoW site, which makes sense as this episode is completely about WoW (Patch 4.2 to be exact). You may now begin wonder why I am posting this WoW news on a Diablo fansite, as we are DiabloFans, not WoWFans... amirite? Well, Episode 16 is ridiculously shorter than the previous 15 episodes (it's only 13 minutes long) and is now in video! Previous episodes have covered all of their games, for the most part, but now that the casts will be in video form, they will likely be a lot shorter. What does this mean for us DiabloFans? I think it is safe to say that Blizzard will be releasing them more frequently, as they are shorter, and as a result will be focusing on one game at a time in these casts. So with this last cast being all about WoW, I would not be surprised if there was a following Episode 17 dedicated to SC2, and future casts dedicated to completely Diablo III.
And I would regret not pointing this out, the BlizzCast "intro" shows off Diablo 3 and the Necromancer, which is a cool throwback to us Diablo 2 fans, ;).
While we're at it, the third episode of Machinima's Blizzard Entertainment series is up for those of you who want to see it. It begins talking about Starcraft and gives a small mention of Hellfire. It then goes on to talk about Warcraft: Lord of the Clans, Starcraft, Warcraft 3 later on, with the last 2 or so minutes about Diablo II. Episode 4 of the series should be out next week and follows Blizzard through the later 2000's.