Hello all, here's the DiabloCast for this week. This time around we talk about return of Town Portals, the brand new D3 Book, and a tangent discussion on item stores and item selling! If you missed the fifteenth episode, you can check it out here. Otherwise, the sixteenth episode covered the following topics:
As we all know, the purchasing and selling of digitized goods is a huge problem in Blizzard games, particularly Diablo II and World of Warcraft. With Diablo III on the horizon, I am curious as to how Blizzard may deal with this problem. As there are no plans for having absolutely BoE/BoP items, anything can easily be traded in-game, or sold on a third party website for cash. Some may argue that it's fair because the hardcore players can obtain items by playing, while the casual players, who still want epic gear, can spend a few bucks and be just as good. Others would say that purchasing items isn't fair in the least bit, because they spend countless hours farming for all that epic gear, that others may be able to get by spending 10 minutes and using a credit card. To resolve this issue, Blizzard could go about it a few different ways...
Blizzard-Hosted Store: Instead of having Blizzard attempt to crack down, or ignore item stores, they could simply open up their own "official" store, where everyone could potentially purchase items from. If item selling is going to be going on, Blizzard could use the money from this store to put into the game, to help make the game better for us. So in a sense, you'd be paying extra for some possible cool future things in D3.
User-hosted Stores: Blizzard could allow users to open up their own stores, to gain profit from. Assuming there will be no botters, these users would have to farm gear to sell themselves, so their countless hours of grinding and farming will earn them some cash.
No Stores: You would prefer Blizzard cracked down on all possible item store attempts and forced users to either trade for, or farm items.
Vanity Items only: The purchasing of only items, such as dyes, etc, that make you visually cooler, but do not affect gameplay whatsoever.
In-Game Gear: Players could purchase any item in the game that can also be found via farming, allowing casual players to be just as good as hardcore players.
Top Tier Gear: You would prefer the only way to obtain the top tier gear is to purchase it from the store, not allowing it to drop in-game.
Other: Perhaps you've come to a conclusion we haven't thought of. If so, please explain in the comments below.
All that in mind, we want to know, what is your position on Item Selling in Diablo 3?
In our previous poll, we wanted to know how you decided which class to play. The results showed "playstyle" as the biggest factor, with a majority of the votes. After playstyle, "archetype" and "skills and traits" tied for second place, with just barely a quarter of the votes that playstyle had.
It appears Blizzard has begun working on the first of what we hope to be many Diablo-related books, "Diablo III: Book of Cain"! However, this does not seem to be an actual novel, in fact, I am not exactly sure what to call it. All I can say for certain is that Denzel Washington will not be making an appearance, despite the name, and Deckard Cain is not blind... I think. Based on the description, I believe it will be something similar to those couple of add-on books for Harry Potter, if anyone knows about them (I believe the most recent was The Tales of Beedle the Bard). It looks to be some further reading on the lore/storyline of the series, from Cain's perspective, in addition to some extra sketches and art, that will get us ready for the actual lore behind Diablo 3. That in mind, I am not downplaying this piece of work whatsoever, any die hard DiabloFan should be more than happy to pass over $20 (if you pre-order, you save $10) for this 144 page beauty.
It's possible this book may be included in the Collector's Edition, however with the release date of the book set at November 15th, I almost don't see this happening. The reasoning behind this is simply because anyone who purchases the CE will not really be getting what they've paid for: Collectibles. This particular item would not really be considered a collectible, as it can just be attained by anyone, separate from the CE itself, prior to the game being released. Usually Blizzard tries to keep items in the CE unique, so those of us that prefer to purchase the CE, can feel like we're actually obtaining some awesome goodies.
Official Blizzard Quote:
In Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo® and Diablo II, the recurring character of Deckard Cain delivered quests, accompanied the brave adventurer, and, as the last of the Horadrim, provided a link to the greater history of the world of Sanctuary. Ever mysterious during these appearances, Cain hinted at a larger story, providing snippets of it in his notebook. Diablo III: Book of Cain is Cain’s formal record of this greater tale—a dissertation on the lore of the Diablo universe, told by one who has witnessed and participated in some of the epic events that make up the eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.
Designed as an “in-world” artifact from the Diablo universe, Diablo III: Book of Cain includes Cain’s revealing meditations, as well as dozens of sketches and color artworks depicting the angelic and demonic beings who wage constant war with one another.
For players of the eagerly anticipated Diablo III, this mysterious tome will provide a deeper understanding of the franchise and its storyline.
It was during Gamescom last year that we officially learned that http://diablowiki.com/town portals " class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - town portals "/> town portals were being completely removed from Diablo III. Now, this was something that was being tossed about for some time since Diablo III's development. As it has been mentioned, there was one main reason that the development was looking for a way to remove them. They had decided that town portals just made it too easy for the game's action to be avoided. At any time in Diablo II, minus the Rite of Passage quest, a player could simply click on a scroll and instantly remove themselves from any present danger. They could restock their potions and continue their attempt to defeat whatever foe was giving them problems. Because of this mechanic, many monsters had to be scaled up to compensate for this retreat by being able to kill players within one to a few hits. Overall, this one simple mechanic caused many more issues through other various systems.
With Diablo III, many new systems have been put into place to keep the action in ARPG, Waypoint locations have been significantly increased to help minimize any walk time between areas and towns when you needed a quick portal. Checkpoints were also added for a player to respawn at after death. Along with these quick ways of transportation, Health Globes were also added, removing the necessity to constantly go to town to restock on potions. With these three mechanics in place, it appeared as though most of the town portal's uses were covered without any of the disadvantages they caused. However, it appears through Blizzard's constant iteration process, it seems like this still is not enough for the loot heavy, quick-pace game that is Diablo.
Official Blizzard Quote:
We've always been trying to see if we can create a better system than town portals, making waypoints the main travel back to town mechanic. But, it's looking like it's just simply more fun and a quality-of-life-nicety to be able to jump back to town from anywhere even if waypoints are all over the place. Plus it's not really that hard to avoid the few pitfalls that TPs in Diablo II had.
Also I never said you can just use them anywhere anytime as much as you want.
As mentioned, they have added yet one more way for players to come in and out of a town and back to action. Although, Bashiok did not specifically say that this system was town portals. In fact, he even adds that this other system still avoids the problems that they created in Diablo II. All we know right now about this system is that it is still limited as Bashiok noted. You will not be able to spam them or even possibly use them to escape danger. So just how does this system work?
On a related note, it was also mentioned, by a user, about the ability to quickly join others without town portals. In Diablo II, any person joining a game could instantly join their friends in the fight by one of the players opening a portal for them. Without this system, even the closely placed waypoints still seemed to be too much of a hassle for players to go through. In Diablo III, players will still be able to group up instantly when wanting to join the fight.
Official Blizzard Quote:
There is actually a mechanic that allows you to jump from town (one-way) to any other player in the game.
The last bit of news we got included just one more piece of the puzzle that town portals have created. With their official removal, Blizzard also added a new item to the game. The scroll of wealth was an item a player could carry around in their inventory. This scroll could be used on an item and give the player gold in exchange. This helped alleviate the need for players to go back to town to dump off loot without missing out on any potential gold. However, it seems that this item was short lived.
Official Blizzard Quote:
We haven't had those for a while, although we do have another mechanic to sell items while out and about.
While the actual scroll is no longer in the game, players will still have the ability to sell items while deep in a dungeon without having to go back to town. Will it require another item, a trait, an NPC, or some other device to allow players to do such?
With all of these changes still going, it is clear to see that the Diablo III team is still hard at work perfecting the game. However, do not let this trick you into thinking that our coveted Diablo III will never be released or that it is doomed to continuous push-backs. Blizzard always continues progress on their games up until release and then after.
Official Blizzard Quote:
We'll be developing the game up until release, and then likely well after.
I want to apologize for the downtime we've experienced over the last few days, Curse had some major hardware failures, and I can assure you that will never happen again. If you want to read further about the issue, Curse released a statement going more in depth on the downtime. However, we're back in the swing of things with this weeks DiabloCast. This time around we talk about the recent invitations to the Diablo 3 Press Event and what that could potentially mean for Beta and the live release. If you missed the fourteenth episode, you can check it out here. Otherwise, the fifteenth episode covered the following topics: