Fans unable to get to any of the BlizzCons or other events of late will be able to partake in the official Diablo III demo this twenty-first through twenty-second in Austin, Texas. Bashiok had this to mention of the demo's playability:
Official Blizzard Quote:
Of note "and the Diablo III demo seen at BlizzCon 2009." Which really shouldn't dissuade anyone if they're in the area, it's obviously worth playing even if you have before (IMO). I managed to clear the entire demo and it took about an hour and a half, so there's plenty to explore. That said I'm sure you won't be allowed to sit on the machines for that long in one sitting.
The demo is the same from previous expositions, but no less fun!
Ever wonder why Blizzcon is never held in Europe?
Because of things like Gamescom, it turns out all you European Diablofans have something to look forward too, as do we all come August 18th. That is of course, if this finding by a Battle-Net forum poster is correct.
Blizzard has scheduled a press conference at gamescom 2010 in Cologne where a new feature in Diablo 3 is going to be presented to the audience. It's still highly classified what it's going to be.
We'll get back to you about the details at pcgames.de on August, the 18th around 12:00 pm (CET), so all the Diablo 3 fans should make sure to check back then.
Diablo 3 will be playable at gamescom 2010. It's uncertain if Diablo 3 is still going to ship in 2011 or rather 2012 - Blizzard maybe is going to comment on that at gamescom. The press conference with game director Jay Wilson also includes half an hour of Q&A, during which we'll try to get our hands on as much information as possible.
Bashiok had this to say.
Official Blizzard Quote:
I am excite, because you are and should be excite.
Now, as we all know, Bashiok has a long track record of keeping us in the dark. When something is wrong, he has nothing against flat out denying it, or making witty remarks at the post. Curious then, that he would not outwardly confirm or deny this post, when it is basically guaranteeing Blizzard announce something big to us. To me, this is his way of confirming that yes, Blizzard is going to announce a new feature.
Notice the key word feature. Sadly, this rules out the fifth class for announcement; we all know something that big would be saved for Blizzcon anyways. But, the crafting system has yet to be announced, as well as the resource systems for the Wizard (which was recently changed), as well as the Monk's resource. It may even have something to do with end game content, or god forbid, the next iteration of the chat gem.
They also did not say how playable Diablo III will be at Gamescom. We do not know if it will be a demo similar to the other events, or a beta version. Though the fact that it will be playable once more gives us even more to look forwards to, as this means players may be able to interact with both the Monk and Wizard skill resource systems. Not to mention other various systems and features we've yet to explore.
Then, we have the comment on the release date. I don't want to hype this out of proportion, but it sounds as if they may be looking to announce a concrete release date, possibly even a beta if the full game is playable at Gamescom.
At any rate, it's only a handful of days until we get some concrete news on our hands, and that's something we can all rejoice about.
As we all know, once Hell difficulty was conquered, Diablo II did not have much else to offer. Sure, you could grind Annihilus charms or run Uber Tristram, but outside of those two things there was hardly any PvM left once Hell was done. However, it seems things are going to change once Diablo III hits shelves, as indicated by Bashiok in this post.
Official Blizzard Quote:
I'm sorry for putting [a fourth difficulty] down outright, but it's not a very sexy solution to make the end game more interesting or exciting. Sort of just draws it out, or maybe resolves some pacing issues that existed in Diablo II, which was a different game.
I've said this a lot but try not to think of Diablo III as an extension of Diablo II. Things like experience curves are not a constant that we have to take from Diablo II, implement directly into Diablo III, and then be really upset about it and have to try to solve the problems they give us. This is a new game being built from the ground up, problems aren't inherited from the previous games. We can do whatever we want.
Personally, I think Bashiok is spot on about adding a fourth difficulty. While it may seem like a good idea to some, this would solve nothing. With this suggestion, we are essentially assuming that the three difficulties in Diablo III will be scaled similarly to those in Diablo II, in terms of difficulty and overall content. We don't yet know how difficult each level of play will be ( Normal, Nightmare, Hell), we don't know how long they will be, or even if they will be the same game. Basically, we know nothing at this point outside of what Bashiok has revealed to us in this quote.
As was said, Diablo III is going to be an entirely new game. Problems that plagued Diablo II obviously will not be intentionally included in the game. This (hopefully) means a new pace to the game. Where 3 difficulties took us roughly to level 80 in Diablo II, they could take us all the way to the level cap in Diablo III. If this were to happen, it would prevent a lot of unnecessary level grinding from taking place. This would leave us free to enjoy endgame content, and to enjoy the game. Due to this recent series of posts, I'm beginning to think this may happen. As always, bear with me for this next bit of speculation.
Official Blizzard Quote:
I was in a meeting with Jay and Wyatt earlier (about something completely different), and Wyatt expressed specifically that giving players some sort of end-game that doesn't involve grinding areas or bosses is something that keeps him up at night. It's a real problem, and it needs a real solution. It's also very much in the minds of our designers and something we will try to remedy as long as we need to.
From this post, we can conclude that the development team is putting a significant amount of thought into end game activities, be it quests, new areas, or bosses. Possibly even a new realm for players to travel to after completion of Hell. However, due to the fact that they're end game activities, we can assume that they will be more difficult than Hell, which in turn would require high level characters. However, this in turn would put forth a contradiction. If the end game activities are to prevent us from grinding areas or bosses, then would it not defeat the purpose of these if we had to grind areas and bosses after Hell is completed to be able to tackle the end game content? Thus, this may suggest
that the experience rates of Diablo III being scaled back slightly, to allow players an easier time of attaining a high level to actually be able to enjoy the end game content.
However, once more, this is all thrown up into the air by the fact that we cannot assume Diablo III is going to be like Diablo II. In principle, it's going to be a continuation. But, we don't even know if the difficulty levels are going to behave as they did in Diablo II. Hell may even turn out to be the end game content, with additional puzzles and scripted events provided to make the final run through an entirely new experience. Until we know more, it's incredibly difficult to peg down one thing that is for sure going to happen.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Anyway, we have many ideas, there have been many good ideas discussed out there on how to solve some of the end game issues. Some of them are pretty much spot-on for ideas we'll likely go ahead with. Most of that design and work on end-game hasn't started yet though. We're still working primarily on building out the core game experience (act-to-act world and dungeons and monsters). Just the basic play through on Normal. Which is coming along quite well still, I might add.
As always, the specifics of the ideas are not revealed. However, we do know that the content most likely will not involve significant amounts of grinding. Due to the fact that Diablo III already features random side quests, it may turn out that the development team is thinking about implementing random end game content to keep us satisfied. Of course, the difficulty and sheer amount of content would both have to be significant to keep us interested, but it can definitely be done.
Overall, this series of posts has me very hopeful for the end game. It is good to see that the development team has identified problems the players are worried about, and are doing their best to remedy them.
On a side note, if you're looking for a different take on this blue post, check out this thread by Airandius.
Over the development of Diablo III, skill resources have underwent constant iteration. Ideas have been suggested, improved, replaced, even scrapped entirely. With the recent post by Bashiok, it seems we now know even less about what to expect from the Wizard.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Instability on the wizard
All we know is what Jay Wilson said
she gets more "Blasty" as she gets more "vulnerable"
They have said it will make more sense then mana did once we learn about it which is cool
This is no longer the case. More at BlizzCon.
We have gone from Mana, to instability, and now to something that may be entirely new. With this brief response, we are left to speculate on what "this is no longer the case" entails for the fate of instability. We do not know if this simply means the resource has been overhauled and no longer behaves as explained, or if the system has been scrapped entirely and replaced with something new.
In the event that instability has been replaced, we have no wonder, where else can they take the Wizard's resource? Of course they could have returned to the mana system, but with Blizzard's previous focus on providing a different resource for each class, I highly doubt this is the case. Perhaps the Wizard now has a system in which they gain a chance for spells to fail after several casts, or hell, maybe they've switched it so they gain mana from the life force of their slain enemies.
At any rate, we can all take solace in the fact that Bashiok has cleared up the remaining skill resources for us, with the exception of the fifth class, of course.
Official Blizzard Quote:
The barbarians fury system (Last we have seen) works like this
The barbarian has certain moves he can use
Hitting with these moves generates fury to do better moves
Some better moves take away fury balls
Last we have seen, He has 3 fury balls, some skills use one some use two and so on.
Kind of. No more fury balls.
Any damage the barbarian does or takes generates fury. This fury builds up as his resource, to a cap. When not doing or taking damage there's a grace period, and then the fury will begin to recede.
You build fury to use skills, as the majority of the barbarians skills require some amount of fury to use. There is a shout that generates fury itself, so it's not always necessary to be in combat for a while before you can start using skills.
While the Barbarian losing his balls is not news to us, it is nice to see that the resource still behaves as previously shown. Personally, I think Fury as it is currently working, will encourage players to let loose on monsters. Reckless attacks will no doubt be made in attempts to not only gain additional fury, but to uncover health globes from slain enemies. Yet, this does not mean players will be forced to constantly hammer enemies to remain viable in a fight. As Bashiok told us, there are skills that generate fury without requiring the Barbarian to be in combat. With these on hand, players will be able to break off from combat, and join back in after a quick bellow.
On a side note, Bashiok also confirmed that the Witch Doctor is still using mana, and the Monk is still using a "holy" system that fits with his class. We can only wait and speculate on how this will be represented in game.
With the release of Starcraft 2, it seems our forums have been abuzz with all sorts of talk about Blizzard's latest game. Of course, this does mark a point when Diablo III is the next big priority for Blizzard (or so we hope), so it's not all bad.
This doesn't mean we haven't had any Diablo discussion, though. Users continue to put forth all sorts of new and interesting ideas and speculation.
At long last, physical contest prizes have come to Diablofans! With the new Create a Monster Contest, first prize features a Diablo III T-shirt, as well as a custom user title and a year of Curse premium. As the name reveals, this contest is all about creating monsters. Art, lore, and mechanics are the three categories set out, and each user is allowed to submit one entry per category. Further questions may be answered in the thread linked to above.
For you gambling types out there, DarkMagicc has suggested a wager system be implemented into PvP. Essentially, this would be a way to make PvP a little more interesting, to offer something outside of bragging rights to the victor. Personally, I'm all in favor of being able to bet gold, or even items on the outcome of duels. From the looks of it, most people also support this idea, so far at least.
As mentioned earlier, the release of Starcraft II has taken a toll on Diablofans. We're slowly losing Diablo players to the blight that is Starcraft (myself included). So, for those of us who have bought the game, Kiserai has set up a thread for us to share our in game contact information so we may set up games, and climb the ladder together. Hope to see you in game!
At the moment, the skill pages are still being filled in and overhauled. As always, if you want to contribute to the wiki but need some help on getting started, throw a PM at Phrozendragon and he'll set you straight.
No doubt the Create a Monster Contest is soaking up everyone's creativity at the moment, but there are still some solid submissions emerging for Blizzard's own writing contest.
Fan Fiction Siaynoq has written out quite the submission for the Blizzard writing contest. It was able to keep my attention for the whole story, which is definitely something to be proud of. The story follows Aras, a young merchant tasked with the traversal of a new, uncharted mountain pass. Thus far the story has not reached any conflict, but Siaynoq is working diligently on bringing us the next installment.
Fan Art ydemonhunter has produced some downright incredible works, with his new monster ideas coming together for the Create a Monster Contest. He's set the bar high!
Roleplaying Scyberdragonhas produced yet another roleplay, this time one that follows the events of the Diablo II game. So if you've been dying to relive the game in a more creative manner, now is your time to shine.
While these last two weeks have been relatively silent on the Blizzard forums, we can only hope that news will pick up once more with Blizzcon looming around the corner. We only have to hold out until then...