Hey guys, here's the fourth episode of our DiabloCast. This time we kinda had an overall theme of Artisans and Crafting for those curious. If you missed the third episode, you can check it out here. Otherwise, the fourth episode covered the following topics:
There seems to be a lot of information on the Blacksmith Artisan. We know how we will meet him and what services he will provide. With the use of the salvage cube, we know that we will break down weapons and armor to get materials for the Blacksmith to create new items. Through leveling and found recipes, the Blacksmith will be able to create better and better gear for you character. All of this we have known since their announcement back at the 2010 Gamescom.
While we know all of this about the Blacksmith, we know very little of the Mystic and Jeweler. We do know that the Mystic will offer us a wide variety of magical services. Between potions, scrolls, magical weapons, charms, and skillrunes the Mystic will cover all of you magical needs. The Jeweler will offer his services in rings, amulets, and gems by upgrading and switching them out of your gear. Unfortunately, that is all we know of these two other artisans. Many questions remain like what will the Artisans need to craft their items? and where will we get these materials?
I recently asked Bashiok on the matter to get some answers.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Quote from ScyberDragon »
ScyberDragon: @Diablo Why do we only know details about the Blacksmith? Are the other two still WIP's?
Diablo: @Scyberdragon Details, you mean as far as the specifics of what each Artisan can do for you?
Quote from ScyberDragon »
ScyberDragon: @Diablo More like how they work. What materials do they need to create gems, rings, enchantments, charms? How do they level up? Why?
Diablo: @Scyberdragon Mostly crafting revolves around salvaging, although not entirely.
With crafting being a gold sink in Diablo III, the artisans will require gold for almost all of their services. However, it seems as though the salvage cube will be used for more than just breaking down weapons and armor for the Blacksmith. As Bashiok noted, salvaging will be the focus for most crafting. With the Mysitc, it's possible that staffs and wands can be broken down for magical resources that will be used to craft these same particular types of items. If a charm is found with unwanted attributes, they may be able to be broken down to create new charms with different attributes. Even unwanted skillrunes may be salvaged into another resource type that the Mystic can use to create new skillrunes. This idea was hinted upon when Blizzard mentioned you would be ale to "combine" skillrunes to create new ones, helping you to create skillrunes that you find more useful for your character build.
It can also be assumed that the Jeweler functions in a similar manner. Rather than selling unused rings and amulets, you can salvage them for materials to create new ones. This was actually something we saw in Diablo II with the Horadric Cube. You were able to transmute three rings into one new amulet and vice versa. Again, this illustrates how the team is using this new crafting system to replace the cube of Diablo II. It still remains unknown, however, if the same mechanic will be used on gems as well. While upgrading will need multiple gems of the same type, it may be possible to salvage unused gems for materials to create rings and amulets as well.
While much of this still remains a mystery, it appears that the team is staying tight lipped on one more aspect of the artisans.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Diablo: @ScyberDragon Details on leveling up/specialization, we're not saying yet.
We know that all of the Artisans can be leveled up, but just what does this do for us. Most likely, only high level Artisans will be able to craft high level items. Specialization is something we have known for the Blacksmith; focusing your Artisan on axes, swords, or maces depending on your character build. What will the specializations be for the Mystic and Jeweler?
Bashiok has given us a little more infromation on combining gems. It seems that now, there will be more than just the first five levels dropping so you will not be needing 100,000 level five gems to get to that fourteenth level. Along with this, an easier trade system seems to be another way to help players sell and trade for gems.
Official Blizzard Quote:
We'll probably be dropping gems a couple levels further than the 5th (as previously stated), which should help. We also want to make sure it doesn't become a pain to have a ton of gems sitting around waiting for another one to upgrade, so there may be some crafting solutions that help with that. But more importantly we expect a more robust trading system will make it much more feasible to sell off a ton of gems, earn that wealth, and then buy back into gems later when you want - and on the buyer side of that, if you have some gems and just need one more to upgrade, it will be quick and easy to go get one for a reasonable price.
Bashiok posted on the Battle.net forums for the first time this week to tell us a few things we know and a few things we didn't on Blizzard's reasoning behind Diablo III's level cap.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Good discussion! It's an old topic I know but there's a lot of good points and counter-points being brought up.
So just to reiterate some things and maybe draw it back to more specific bullet points of why a lower level cap is (we believe) better for the game:
We want each level to feel like a significant boost in power. You can think of the amount of power a character gains through leveling as a bucket of orange soda, and each level as a glass. We have to have an end-point and so we can only scale player power to that point. By having fewer glasses they can be filled more, and each one has more delicious thirst-quenching orange soda. Spread that same bucket out over 99 or 200 glasses, and each level is less satisfying (if not downright unnoticeable).
We want level benefits to be as clear as possible. Some people have suggested "Well, let us hit level 60, but then keep giving us points after that." which isn't a solution, it's the same problem except worse because there's no actual tracking mechanism built in (ie levels). We also want to avoid providing level benefits at irregular intervals (although this may be unavoidable for trait points), as some people suggest "Let us level to 99 and just give us the rewards every few levels". This goes back to the first point: We want each level to feel like a significant boost in power. Trait points may not come every level, but the sum of the other increases from leveling, we feel, are still very significant and maintain our intent.
Because of the extreme leveling curve in Diablo II, balance really couldn't be adjusted around level 99 characters. This meant that the last 15 or so levels were not just minimal increases in power, but in most cases provided absolutely nothing to a characters ability to effectively complete Hell difficulty and get items, which did significantly improve their character. Instead, leveling to 99 became a status symbol more than anything.
We can have long term status symbols people can go for that are extremely visual, show to others the effort you've put in, but not attach that to something like a character level. Along with artisans, achievements, gems, runestones, and all the other various character customization progressions, we still have some surprises left in store on this front.
Balance isn't a main point for a tighter level system, but it is one side benefit. With the sum changes and improvements to all of the core designs, we believe that we can have a more reasonably challenging game throughout (as we can fairly clearly know how strong someone should be at any point in time) without attempting to create "challenge" through cheesy tactics.
The game paces out progression very well through all of the various customization systems, which are far more interesting and important to an end-game character, as opposed to chasing a number.
I'm sure I'm leaving out a good point or two. The real bottom line is that we understand people like having those long term goals, and those feel good to chase and eventually achieve, but we do not feel one needs to be character level, and in fact making character levels a long term goal brings a great many negative effects with them (keeping in mind our goals for how important each level should feel). We do not doubt that people will feel good about chasing the long term goals of building the perfect character, getting a playtime intensive achievement, leveling up an artisan to max, or any of the other many individual long term progression systems the game offers.
Clearly Blizzard has many longterm achievements lined up for us in Diablo III, and we can surely look forward to many status symbols to work towards. The post is pretty self explanatory, so there really isn't much else to say other than feel free to revive (or rather semi-revive) the discussion about Diablo III's level cap.
Crafting in Diablo III will be considerably different than in Diablo II. Instead of relying on the transmutation ability of the Horadric Cube, Blizzard has introduced a caravan of Artisans that will do the crafting for you at the cost of gold and salvaged materials, which can be gained by dropping unwanted items into the salvage cube located in your inventory. Below is a summary of the Artisans and their respective purposes. For additional information, including plenty of screenshots and videos, you should check out the Artisan wiki link above along with the crafting page on the official site. If you still aren't satisfied with your knowledge of this new system, be sure to check out the Crafting Sanctuary panel on the DiabloFans YouTube page.
After you complete a quest line for each Artisan, they will follow you from town to town as you battle demons. Each Artisan will have its own unique wagon that will visually level up with the Artisan at the cost of gold. After an Artisan has reached its maximum level, you can continue to hone its abilities by choosing a specialization for the Artisan. In other words, an Artisan will not be 'maxed' until you have chosen and leveled up a specialization as well. However, even if you chose to specialize an Artisan they will not lose their ability to craft items outside of that specialization.
A very nice feature of the Artisans is that it makes it so that your character doesn't have to do any of the work. You simply walk up to an Artisan, queue up a few commands, and then you can pick up the crafted items at your convenience, which means you can go kill more monsters instead of watching a bar fill up as you hit an anvil. It should also be noted that the more powerful items available through crafting will drop off of monsters in the form of recipes, and the Artisan will have to meet a level requirement in order to learn the recipe. Most crafted items will have random properties, just like most drops in Diablo, but Enchantments and Gems will have set attributes.
The first artisan introduced was the Blacksmith. This Artisan takes on the duties of repairing and crafting weapons and armor for your character, but it should be noted that his specialty is non-magical items, so he won't be able to create magical staves or a Wizard's Orb. Probably the most interesting feature about the Blacksmith is his ability to socket items. He is able to add one socket to any item which can then contain a gem. As some of you may remember, sockets will play an important role in Diablo III as they can be found on any item. The only specializations mentioned for the Blacksmith were Axesmithing and Swordsmithing, although it can be inferred that he will be able to specialize in other weapons, such as Maces and Mauls, along with crafting Armor.
The Mystic was revealed at Blizzcon 2010 and has the ability to craft caster items such as magical staves and wands. It is unknown at this time if she will be able to create magical armors, but it would fit her archetype. Along with these more visual items, the Mystic will also be able to create charms and rune stones, and can also Enchant your weapons. We do not know if Enchantments will also apply to armors, but it is at least a strong possibility. No specializations have been mentioned for the Mystic, but it can be assumed that there will be some separation between her previously mentioned abilities.
The Jeweler is the Artisan for all things, well, jewelry related. He is able to craft rings, amulets and gems for the player. The Jeweler also plays an important role in the lengthy gem leveling process, as the player can only combine gems through the Jeweler. Gems in Diablo III have fourteen separate levels, but only the first five ever drop off of monsters, leading to a ridiculous amount of level five gems required in order to gain the maximum level. As such, leveling the Jeweler is the only way to gain a level fourteen gem. As with the Mystic, we do not know what the Jeweler's specializations will be, but there will most likely be differences between his crafting abilities.
Another very interesting part of the crafting system is the wagon of each Artisan. Judging by the leveling footage from the announcement video, which can be found on the official site link above, these wagons will be among the most interesting buildings in town. Although we only have seen glimpses of the early levels of the Mystic and Jeweler wagons, the maximum level Blacksmith wagon looks amazing, with a metallic theme and many impressive looking weapons and pieces of armor on display throughout the area. For a tantalizing look at the Artisan leveling process, you have to check out the announcement video, which you can find on our wiki or the official site.
In the end, Blizzard has made it clear that although the Artisan quests are part of the main storyline, leveling, and even paying attention to, the Artisans is completely optional. So now that you know all there is to know about this new crafting system, will you engage in crafting in Diablo III?
Last week's poll about set items led to a lot of great discussion about how the community thinks sets will, or should, work in Diablo III. The leading option was that sets should be left to the end-game, but craftable sets, along with sets that scale with your character, followed closely behind. Most people agreed that something has to be changed from the system in Diablo II. If you didn't get to vote in last weeks poll, or if you would like to engage in the ongoing discussion in that thread, feel free to click the link above and share your opinion.
Visagebook + Catch Dotcom = Soulmatch
Visagebook + Angry Imps = Wirt’s Leg
Visagebook + Agro Town = Fallenville
Catch Dotcom + Angry Imps = Imp Finder
Catch Dotcom + Agro Town = Tome of Town Portal
Angry Imps + Agro Town = Angrytown
Soulmatch + Angry Imps = Plenty of Imps
Plenty of Imps + Agro Town = Prismatic Tome
Soulmatch + Agro Town = Fruitbook
Fruitbook + Angry Imps = Yawp
Wirt’s Leg + Catch Dotcom = Plenty of Imps
Plenty of Imps + Agro Town = Curse Village
Wirt’s Leg + Agro Town = Tome of Town Portal
Tome of Town Portal + Catch Dotcom = Imp icon (no name)
Fallenville + Catch Dotcom = Fruitbook
Fruitbook + Angry Imps = Angry Fruit
Tome of Town Portal + Visagebook = Khalim’s Will
Khalim’s Will + Angry Imps = Kindling
Tome of Town Portal + Angry Imps = Imps vs Tomes
Imps vs Tomes + Visagebook = Imps vs Visages
Angrytown + Visagebook = Cut the Hope
Cut the Hope + Catch Dotcom = OK …
Angrytown + Catch Dotcom = Double Hell
Double Hell + Visagebook = Scarytown
Imp Finder + Visagebook = ChirpStack
Chirpstack + Agro Town = Impville
Imp Finder + Agro Town = Fetish!
Fetish! + Visagebook = Cheaply
Soulmatch + Angrydom = Full Rejuvenation Potion
Wirt’s Leg + Tome of Town Portal = Secret Cow Level
Fallenville + Imp Finder = Jade Ring
Visagebook + Catch Dotcom + Angry Imps = B’gemmed
B’gemmed + Agro Town = Chat Gem (when you click the blue chat gem it turns purple)
Visagebook + Catch Dotcom + Agro Town = Goatspace
Goatspace + Angry Imps = Angry Goats
Catch Dotcom + Angry Imps + Agro Town = Imps vs Goatmen
Imps vs Goatmen + Visagebook = Hooks-up
Fallenville + Angry Imps = MeSpout
MeSpout + Catch Dotcom = Chatter
note: one is bugged without text.
Thanks to BlizzPlanet for laying it out all nice and neat.