• published the article The Demon Hunter Unveiled
    The wait is finally over!
    ... For the fifth class.

    Today at Blizzcon, the Demon Hunter was revealed to us all. A bow slinging, demon hunting, trap setting conventional ranged character has been given to us.

    During development dual daggers were tried out, but Blizzard felt this really took away from the ranged feel, thus they made the move to dual wielding crossbows. At first, the DiabloWiki.com - Demon Hunter Demon Hunter wasn't even human. It started out as a full demon, and more recently, a demon/human hybrid. Now, with the released version, the Demon Hunter is fully human. A sleek medieval look has been settled upon, with a signature scarf and arm guard present on all concept models shown.

    -The Lore-
    Abd al-Hazir has brought us yet another class story, with a dark, demonic flavor to it. The Demon Hunters are essentially nomads, having lost all they knew and loved to the hells, they chose to pursue a life of vengeance above all else. They number in the hundreds, and choose to make their home in the Dreadlands. All demon hunters have an innate ability to resist the demonic taint present in the Dreadlands, allowing them to use demonic magics against their enemies while retaining their sanity.
    But what could this mean? From the sounds of it, the Demon Hunters will use anything and everything at their disposal to take the fight to their sworn enemies. In one of the panels on the Demon Hunter, Jay Wilson briefly talked about using demonic organs as weaponry. Whether this was a definite "yes, you can craft with demonic organs" or not, is yet to be seen. However, in the release video the Demon Hunter is shown as using an arrow crafted from the tooth of a demon, thus, I personally believe we will be able to use demonic trophies to enhance our skills and items. I can expect this to take the form of special crafting recipes.

    -The Skills-
    Currently, the Demon Hunter has traps & gadgets, shadow magic, and various bow skills at her disposal. We've been shown several skills so far, and here they are.

    Molten Arrow
    The Demon Hunter shoots a crossbow bolt infused with flame which passes through enemies, and leaves behind a flaming wake, dealing damage to all enemies to try to cross it. Essentially, it's a fire wall that you can shoot.

    Seems to function similarily to the Witch Doctor's Skull of Flame. The video shows the Demon Hunter throwing out 3 small globes, which bounce briefly, then explode, dealing AOE to all nearby enemies. It was also shown to break a shield skeletons shield, which suggests AOE damage dealt from behind the shield can disarm them, giving this skill a spot as a sort of "combat utility" skill.

    This skill allows the Demon Hunter to shoot a bola arrow, which wraps around whatever it hits. The enemies are not slowed however, but several seconds after being hit they exploded. AOE damage was dealt to everything nearby.

    The obligatory movement skill. The Demon Hunter performs an acrobatic roll to reach new locations, or to escape from enemies. I can definitely see this skill being combined with Molten Arrow, allowing the Demon Hunter to quickly set up a wall, and retreat behind it before being in the line of fire.

    Spike Trap
    Taking a hint from the Assassin, the Demon Hunter sets up a trap that lies in wait for enemies. Upon being walked over, the trap opens up and enemies above it.

    Fan of Knives
    The Demon Hunter twirls in place, sending knives in all directions around her. AOE damage is dealt to all nearby enemies. This skill was shown being used with Vault, the Demon Hunter would roll into position, and release knives directly into a mob of enemies.

    Entangling Shot
    The Demon Hunter shoots out an arrow that bounces between several enemies, linking them with a blackish purplish line, slowing each down. The linking seemed to have to affect, though perhaps the slowing affect is made more serious based on how many enemies are linked to the same arrow?

    -Tactical Considerations-
    From the sounds of it, this character will take some planning to use effectively. With the theme of traps in mind, Demon Hunter players will no doubt benefit from careful planning and preparation. Jay Wilson himself said
    in one of the panels that this was the feel they were going for, as a bounty hunter they wanted the Demon Hunter to be prepared for battle. With the various skills she has at her disposal, she will be able to dictate the flow and pace of combat on her own terms.

    Things to keep in mind, are the ways the skills functioned. If you watch the Bola video, you will notice the bola wrapping around a pillar, then exploding soon after. Tactics like this would allow the Demon Hunter to preemptively shoot a Bola, and run away while her enemies drew closer to the "trapped" environment. This skill may even be able to bring down walls after a delayed timer, allowing for more tactical use of the environment than other characters.
    Posted in: The Demon Hunter Unveiled
  • published the article The Blizzcon Hub

    This article was previously an article on the Demon Hunter and PvP, it has been turned into a "Blizzcon Hub", in which you'll be able to find all the resources you need to get the most info out of us.

    Now that the first hectic hours of Blizzcon have passed us by, we've had a chance to compile our information, level our heads, and churn out in depth articles covering everything Blizzcon.

    We have written out articles on the three main aspects we wanted to bring to light, and links will be provided to help you quickly find them in the chaos Blizzcon has brought down upon us. Welcome chaos, of course, as now we have a fifth class!

    The Demon Hunter Unveiled
    - I take a look at the new fifth class, explore the lore behind the Demon Hunter, give some insight into tactical considerations, and dig up the skills we've been shown. If you want to learn about the fifth class, check this article out!

    Character Customization
    - Scyberdragon compiles everything to do with character customization into one sexy slab of article. Changes to skills, new skills, skill runes, and info on the talisman can all be found here. If you like to tweak your character to your own tastes, this is the article for you.

    Diablo III PvP - Battle Arenas - With his first article (give the man a hand), liquorice takes a look at the new "Battle Arena" PvP system in Diablo III. With a blend of facts and speculation, he explores every aspect of the new PvP system, which hopefully will be more complex than the "hostile button" from Diablo II. Cross your fingers.

    Wilson on Diablo III and Press Conference - Magistrate, our inside man at Blizzcon brings us the scoop directly from the floor. Read up on the latest info regarding PvP in Diablo III.

    Crafting Sanctuary - A collaborative effort; liquorice, Scyberdragon and I cover the latest on crafting, items, monsters, and the world of Sanctuary. Anyone wondering how development is coming along should definitely read up.

    You can also see pictures from Blizzcon 2010 as well as upload your own in the new Blizzcon 2010 Gallery.

    There has also been a presskit released filled with pictures and a 20min gameplay video. You can download the presskit HERE.

    Lastly check out our user/staff D3 game demo experiences.

    This post will be updated with more information and new articles as they become available, so check this thread for updates whenever possible. In the mean time, check out the Diablofans IRC channel to chat with your fellow users in real time!
    Posted in: The Blizzcon Hub
  • published the article Interview Analysis - PvP
    Over the next several days, we'll be running articles on this interview with Jay Wilson. We thought that the amount of information would be too much to cram into one article, thus you can expect us to explore a new facet of the video every few days.

    We hope you enjoy it.

    Article Two - Player vs Player

    Take a moment to think back upon Diablo II. Remember PvP?
    Remember how horrendously incomplete it was?

    Players were left with few goals or aims in PvP, aside from killing the other guy. There were vast amounts of exploits that could be used (PK'ing easily the most notorious of the bunch), leaving PvP feeling rushed and incomplete. Sure, it still fulfilled the function of killing other players, but outside of the feeling of killing some other guy, players had no real reason to play PvP.

    It seems the boys at Blizzard are learning from their mistakes, choosing to give PvP much more thought in Diablo III than the previous titles.

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    We do have plans for PvP but we haven't announced anything yet, so we're not talking about it at this time. But we'll announce something in the not too distant future.

    Of course this is not much to go on, but the fact that they're tight lipped about PvP leaves me thinking that something big is planned. What it turns out to be however, it up for debate. These days, most online games both support and encourage PvP through in-game rewards. New weapons in FPS games, decals and portraits in Starcraft II, even customized titles in games like Guild Wars are all some of the ways other games have rewarded players for dominating in PvP. We have to consider though, would any of these work in Diablo III?

    It really all depends on how organized PvP is, and what is involves. If PvP simply pits two players against each other, I wouldn't doubt an ante system being incorporated into the game, so players may lay bets on their success. If PvP pits teams or clans against each other, titles or gold would be a suitable reward for dominance. If there are occasional tournaments held by Blizzard or special PvP events, then shiny new weapons and armor would undoubtedly be given to the victor. If Blizzard is to leave players with nothing but bragging rights as their reward, PvP will have a tough time winning over the majority of the PvE demographic. With specific rewards not obtained anywhere else, we may finally see many normally PvE players sticking their feet into the waters of PvP play.

    With this in mind, the bridge between PvE and PvP should be clear. In Diablo II, all public games were open to griefers and PKers at all times. To look at other games once more, titles such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars have safeguards in place to prevent the killing of players who wish to enjoy the PvE game, but still give PvP players their own slice of the game to call their own. Thus, something along the lines of "PvP Zones", or an arena would do Diablo III well.

    We can also look at Blizzard's other titles for a hint on where PvP play may be going. As we all know, World of Warcraft is nearly built around PvP play. Of course this model would not work with Diablo III, but as suggested before, we may see smaller versions of raids in the form of clan vs clan play. With Blizzard's intentions of adding clan support to Battle Net 2.0 in the future, this may become a reality.

    All in all though, we still hardly know anything about what is being planned for PvP. All we have at this point is speculation, but at least we can rest easily knowing that there are more ambitious plans for PvP than nothing but a hostile button.
    Posted in: Interview Analysis - PvP
  • published the article Interview Analysis - Skill Resources
    Over the next several days, we'll be running articles on this interview with Jay Wilson. We thought that the amount of information would be too much to cram into one article, thus you can expect us to explore a new facet of the video every few days.

    We hope you enjoy it.

    Article One - Skill Resources

    While this was not the first topic to be discussed in the interview, we did think it was the most interesting. When the interviewer asked Jay about the state of the skill resources, I was expecting him to get shot down and be banned from Gamescom. Shocked was I then, when Jay replied "Oh, I'll talk about where they're at."

    Recently, we were made aware of the DiabloWiki.com - Wizard Wizard losing Instability for a new skill resource. However, we did not know what this new resource was, nor did we know how instability worked. Both questions were resolved within the interview.

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    We could not get a version of instability we liked, the last version involved a buff and debuff that would hit the wizard whenever she went unstable. It was actually a pretty severe buff, it doubled all the damage on her but it also increased her crit chance. It just didn't affect how people played. They didn't notice it most of the time, when they did notice it they didn't change what they were doing. That's not the point of a resource system, it needs to be managed somewhat to change how you play.

    One could argue that this information is redundant now that instability has been
    scrapped, however it is still interesting to explore what could have been. I do think it was a good decision to do away with Instability, due to the fact that, as Jay explained, this resource would not have affected gameplay much. Players would have been free to spam skills without fear of being unable to cast, since the penalty for multiple casts did not involve an inability to cast more spells. Instead, players would be rewarded with more damage. Obviously, this would have called for Wizards to get as much DiabloWiki.com - Faster Cast Rate Faster Cast Rate as humanly possible, to reach the point of instability quickly. This system would have also been open to exploits. Think about it, would it matter if the spells actually hit a target, or would the Wizard be able to reach the point of instability by casting spells at nothing?

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Now, it's called Arcane Power. It's not dissimilar to mana in a lot of ways but it regenerates very quickly, and it doesn't grow over time. She has lots of abilities and passive skills that enhance it.

    Now, this description is a bit more vague than instability. Basically all we know for sure from this, is that it's a relatively static resource pool, and it regenerates very quickly.

    What it seems Blizzard is trying to achieve here, is to make players choose spells carefully. With a static pool, players will be forced to choose between casting a volley of low cost spells, or save their Arcane Power for one or two powerful spells. With a quick recharge rate, players will most likely be stalled one or two seconds before being able to unleash more spells.

    Personally, I think this system will be much more dynamic than DiabloWiki.com - Mana Mana in the previous games, since at high levels players often had countless bonuses to their mana pool. Factor in mana leech items, and you rarely had to concern yourself with your mana pool. Should Blizzard choose to only give bonuses to Arcane Power through skills, then we may see an interesting, dynamic system that forces players to think before they cast.

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    The Monk has spirit, and that's probably the one we're happiest with. His combo moves generate spirit, which can be used for "signature moves" that he does. He can't do them very often, but they're great attacks, some are escapes, some are recovery.
    While it is news to us, this mechanic sounds awfully similar to DiabloWiki.com - Fury Fury. Like the DiabloWiki.com - Barbarian Barbarian, it sounds like the DiabloWiki.com - Monk Monk will have to attack to generate his resource, which can then be used to fuel more powerful moves. However, this description is still quite vague, Blizzard will have undoubtedly foreseen similarities between the two systems, and done their best to distance them from one another. It also sounds as if the development team is revisiting the charge system the DiabloWiki.com - Assassin Assassin used with several of her DiabloWiki.com - Martial Arts Martial Arts skills. The extent of these similarities are yet to be seen, of course.

    We also have to wonder what exactly combo-moves entails. Will they function as preparatory moves, with the Monk using any low damage skill before being able to use any one of his "signature moves"? Or will the Monk be forced to use sequences of combo moves to cast a specific signature move? Furthermore, which skills will qualify as signature moves? Powerful moves like DiabloWiki.com - 7 Sided Strike 7 Sided Strike are obvious contenders
    at the moment, but no doubt Blizzard has all kinds of signature moves planned for the Monk. However it turns out, it sounds as if the Monk is going to have a beat-em'-up feel to him.

    Sadly, we still have no word on the skill resource of the fifth class. However, we do know that the Barbarian and Witch Doctor are still using Fury and Mana respectively, so hopefully Blizzard won't be throwing us any curve balls in the months approaching Blizzcon.
    Posted in: Interview Analysis - Skill Resources
  • published the article Jay Wilson Interview with inDiablo.de
    After the announcement of the Caravan system, fans of the Diablo series breathed a collective sigh of relief. Finally, we were able to hear some solid news about the future of the game. Caravans blew us away, but never did we imagine the sheer amount of news contained within this interview, for www.inDiablo.de.

    Throughout the interview, Jay Wilson touches on everything from PvP, to WoW influence, to how the development team is tackling the four acts, even to returning characters. The interview is in English (thankfully), so you can watch the two linked videos without having to translate what is said. To the right, is the first part of the interview. Click the word "interview" in the first paragraph to view the second half of the interview. Trust me, you'll want to watch it.

    We're still compiling the info from the interview, so look for an in depth analysis in the near future. Stay tuned!

    Also, thanks to Doomscream for the heads up, give the man a pat on the back!

    EDIT: Alright, first half is transcribed, read away!
    "In Diablo II obviously PvP wasn't really rewarding for players, other than just that feeling that "oh, I killed someone". Are there any plans to actually give players some reward for their effort in PvP, if there is any of course."

    "We uh, we do have plans for PvP but we haven't announced anything yet, so we're not talking about it at this time. But we'll announce something in the not too distant future."

    "So probably we can expect more focus on the PvP aspect?"

    "There will be more yeah, we will do more than, than the previous games sure."

    "What kind of aspect of Diablo II did you decide to enhance, you thought it was really lacking, and you thought that "this thing needs to be way better", it it's supposed to transfer to Diablo III."

    "Uh, well we've pretty much gone through every part of the game and looked for ways to make it better. The combat system is a big one, you know, making a combat system that allows for more diversity in how the classes play. Um, by leaning more on a health system instead of potions. But you can look throughout the game, our new artisan feature that we announced is a great example of how we took a lot of features that weren't even necessarily crafting features, like gambling and runewords. Essentially, we took what we liked from the systems and we created a robust, full crafting system that allows us to do a whole big variety of things for the player."

    "Which aspect of the game, once you started working on Diablo III, you were like "oh no no wait it's not going into Diablo III because it's lacking."

    "Well, I mentioned potions and that was a big one, we took those out. Well, they're not completely out but we removed the mechanic of just using them over and over again because we didn't feel it was a good overall health model for the game. We also removed town portals because they're a combat exploit, so anything that kind of hurts the depth of combat we really worked on."

    "What about armor sets, which were sort of fun to collect in Diablo II. But, you never really got them before they were really useless for your character because you had too high a level."

    "The problems with item sets in Diablo II, we definitely understand the problems and we want to solve them. Set items are actually in design right now so I can't tell you exactly what we're going to do to solve them, but if we can't find a way to solve that problem they just won't be in the game. But, we've got a couple ideas on the table and they're all pretty good."

    "We know that boss fights my be a little bit more like WoW, in that you need some tactics or use some certain elements of the environment."

    "I like to compare them a little bit more to Zelda, um, I think World of Warcraft boss fights are so team oriented and that's not really a good description of ours. Probably the closest comparison would just be that we do lots of staged fights where the boss changes over time, which does happen in World of Warcraft but really Zelda was the game that invented that more or less. Probably not, but they definitely mastered it. That's the game we look to for inspiration to try to make boss fights that's not just another monster with a lot more health and a lot more damage but actually plays up to the mechanics to the game and has really interesting mechanics on their own."

    "Aren't you a little bit worried that players are used to Diablo II for example will sort of be confused with those fights for example some bosses now have two unique skills for them and that's about all you need to defeat that boss."

    "No, they're not so far from Diablo II that they're jarring, they just feel better, they just feel a lot less repetitive. But they're still Diablo characters, and that's why I say Zelda is a better comparison because if we made boss fights like WoW where we need a part of people and a certain composition and everybody needed a role, then that would feel like a WoW fight. And that's so different than Diablo, so no I don't think it will feel jarring, but will feel like an enhancement of something that existed before."

    "What are you focusing right now during development, for example are you working on a certain act because I know you guys are trying to polish and check, what's that you are focusing on?"

    "The majority of the team is actually working across all four acts simultaneously. So they're all in production. But a subset of the team is focusing on polishing the first act. So the focus there being that most of our systems we've proven out, we know what they need to look like to ship the game. But there's a couple systems like questing and storytelling that are not quite to the quality level we want. So we're really focusing on them for the first act so we can get them right and they'll serve as an example for other acts."

    "We don't know much about resource systems, how do you think you can balance if you're trying to go for 5 different resources, how will they feel just as powerful and just as good as the other ones?"

    "The process of balancing resources is not an overly complex one, it's basically math. There are a lot of other systems that are more subjective that are a lot harded to balance than a resource system. Essentially, if you're going to balance a skill like magic missile with multiple projectiles with a skill like Blizzard, well they don't even have relationships on certain levels so that becomes more subjective. Should magic missile do more damage because it tends to hit less targets, or should Blizzard have a larger radius of affect? They're much more subjective, but when you get to resources it's well "I need to output this much DPS, can I do that? No you can't. Is it a resource problem? Yes, adjust the resource."

    "So you probably can't say right now what's the current concept for either instability or-"

    " Oh I'll talk about where they're at. We could not get a version of instability we liked, the last version involved a buff and debuff that would hit the wizard whenever she went unstable. It was actually a pretty severe buff, it doubled all the damage on her but it also increased her crit chance. It just didn't affect how people played. They didn't notice it most of the time, when they did notice it they didn't change what they were doing. That's not the point of a resource system, it needs to be managed somewhat to change how you play. Now, it's called Arcane Power. It's not dissimilar to mana in a lot of ways but it regenerates very quickly, and it doesn't grow over time. She has lots of abilities and passive skills that enhance it. Fury is more or less where it's at, a lot of it is getting the right costs for different skills so that Fury feels like what it's supposed to feel like. But it also doesn't slow the Barbarian down, because if he has to build up fury too much it feels like he's constantly yo-yoing in and out of being awesome, and we don't want that. The Monk has spirit, and that's probably the one we're happiest with. His combo moves generate spirit, which can be used for "signature moves" that he does. He can't do them very often, but they're great attacks, some are escapes, some are recovery. So that one worked very well. The Witch Doctor is using mana."

    "You probably are making a lot of references to the previous games, so let's ask about Wirt and his leg."

    "I would love to bring [Wirt] back in some form, but we haven't come up with an original idea to do it. I just don't want to stick him in there to do it, I want it to be a cool reason to do it. So if we come up with one, we'll definitely put him in. But we've brought characts back from the previous games. Adria who's from the original Diablo, she's coming back as a fairly significant character. Of course Deckard Cain and Tyreal are returning. We may even bring back one of the D2 classes as an actual character who's in the game."

    "Do you think that crafting will affect the high end level of play?"

    "One of the key elements of the crafting system is to acquire some of the best items you need to have the recipes to make them. The recipes are actually drops, so it's very likely you could off one of the bosses in Hell difficulty, and get a really great recipe as a drop in addition to items. So yeah, it is our goal that there are some crafted items that are viable as top tier items. We don't want crafted items to dominate, if anything we'll probably make them the smallest percentage of items you wear. But we do want to make some crafted items obviously the best in their area, so when you get a max level character they're wearing a mix of items."

    "If the items you can make through artisans are the best in their class, are you worried about people acquiring the best recipes and selling the items to become rich easily?"

    "The crafting system produces random items, so there's not going to be high end crafted items that don't have completely random properties on them. So crafting items in DIII is more like gambling in DII; you know the type of item you'll make, but not what's going to be on it. So even if you have a really good recipe for a high quality item you'll probably have to craft tons of them to get one that's really good. So even if you can get a really good item and make a lot of items our of it, it will just devalue that item across the board. We don't think there's a problem with that as long as crafted items are a small percentage of the overall items that a player uses."

    "Would artisans be able to specialize? For example, we know blacksmiths will be able to craft armor and weapons, so will they be able to specialize at some time to use better recipes?"

    "Yeah, after you've max leveled your artisan you can specialize them in particular areas. Specialties aren't exclusive, so if you choose to specialize in axes then later on you change your mind you didn't omit the ability to go swords or armor, you can just start going down that path separately. So it's more that each path is it's own time and resource commitment. You can absolutely specialize in different things you like the most."[/spoil]

    EDIT: Transcript for the second part of the Wilson Inverview is done. Some words of the interviewer I just couldn't get, and I removed A LOT of so, like and you know.
    Editedit: Props to Phrozendragon for the second half!
    Q: You said yesterday that the Jeweler is able to create gems. So which stats will they have, are we going to see stats like in Diablo II where red gems gave you life and blue gems gave you mana, or are they gonna have more complex stats?

    A: No they work like Diablo II, they have set stats that they give depending on what type of place you put them.

    Q: So just life and mana?...

    A:I don't remember the exact off, we copied them as best we could, but we could not copy exactly what D2 did, because our itemization is different, and some of our stating is different, for example, most of the classes don't have mana, so that's not one we wanna put on a gem. So, but yeah, they're things like + strength and cast speed and things like that.

    Q: You said that there will be 16 different upgrade stages. How hard will it be to get to the highest upgrade stage?

    A: So, it's 14.

    Q: 14?

    A: Yeah. Yeah no, 14, 16, whatever. It's a difference of... If it was 16, then it would take you... I'm doing math in my head... 180,000 level 5 gems to get to a level 14, I mean level 16. So that's probably more than... that's a little high, no one would ever do it. As it stands for 14, I believe the math is around 19,000 which is probably still too high. So we may make the recipe for combining the higher gems less, not require three later on, or we might knock it down to 12 levels, something like that. We just wanted to start of with a ridiculous number to begin with, so that's a ridiculous number.

    Q: You can socket gems into your items, bu are there any other items you could socket into your gear?

    A: Not right now, but there may be someday.

    Q: Like jewelry (gems is probably what he means) that could be magic/rare?

    A: We have an idea for something similar to jewelry, but it's not actually jewelry. Whether it makes it into this release, I don't know, but I'm sure after this we'll have expansions, I'm sure we'll add more socketable items.

    Q: In Diablo II, only several types of items could be socketed. Can we socket everything in Diablo III like runes and spells?

    A: Not every single slot, but any slot that the blacksmith can add sockets to. He's got about six different slots he can add sockets to. It doesn't matter the quality of the item, so if you have a pair of boots and they're legandary or rare boots and they don't have sockets on them already, he can add sockets to them. Also, sockets can appear on any type of item. You know, in Diablo II they only appeared on white items, but in Diablo III a legendary you know, could have them, a rare could have them. We essentially treat sockets like another affix on the item.

    Q: The Mystic is able to enchant items. The affix that is created, will it be random like you get from 10-25 additional damage, or will it be that you know what you will get?

    A: There's a small range on it, but... no actually, no there's not. It's a set number. It works just like gems basically. We wanted it to be a custmoization choise, not a quality choise where you have to seek it over and over again. You're already going to enchant a lot, everytime you get a new item you're gonna go and do that, so we didn't feel the need to make you wanna recast your enchant over and over again.

    Q: The artisans are one way to customize our items. Are there any other ways to customize your gear or character besides skill runes and artisans? You once mentioned some sort of talisman for that.

    A: Yeah. There's a talisman... I'm not gonna talk about it yet. Soon, but not yet. There's also dyes, we added clothing dyes so you can dye your armor and about 15 different colors I think. Yep. You're the second person I've told. So type fast.

    Q: I don't need to type.

    A: Well there you go, so put it up on the web fast.

    Q: I'll be doing so. So I'm playing a lot of Starcraft II lately, and there are some features that I think are very useful for Diablo III. Would you agree that ? matchmaking system would be a pretty cool way to create a Player versus Player ladder?

    A: Well that's a Player versus Player question, and I don't answe Player Versus Player questions, because we haven't announced anything on it. I do think auto matchmaking would be awesome for co-op play though.

    Q: For co-op play?

    A: Yeah. I wanna find a bunch of people my level who wanna do the quest that I wanna do. Hit the button, few seconds later you're in the game.

    Q: You have achievements in World of Warcraft and Starcraft II, even thought I was sceptical first if anyone would need this, it's very funny to be rewarded with a little achievement when you do something special. So are we going to see achievments like kill 1 million Fallen Ones with a single strike, finish the entire game with a naked hardcore character, stay a very long while and listen to everything Deckard Cain has to say?

    A: Hehehe. Those are very good achievment ideas. We'll definitely have achievments in Diablo III and so... I don't think kill 1 million anything in one blow is gonna be, or even just kill 1 million things, that, those aren't good achievments, those are grindy achievements. But I like the naked hardcore character completing the game that's... yeah, I'm all over that one.

    Q: Trading is quite essential in Diablo, you're going to make gold the standard currency in the game. But many players love to trade item vs item. WIll there be a comfortable way to offer an item and search for another item instead of gold, let's say an auction house or something like that?

    A: We are definitely going to look to do some kind of imrpoved tradeing so that players don't have to default to chat channel spam, and you know, naming their game creatively so that people will come in and trade with them. What that system's going to be we haven't determined yet.

    Q: Will it still be possible to trade item vs item and not only vs gold?

    A: We're gonna do something. But we haven't made a decision on exactly what that's gonna be.

    Q: Items cause a lot of greed. People are bying items in Diablo II and gold in World of Warcraft for real life money. So in World of Warcraft you could argue: people buy gold, they play less, the pay you less money so you could argue that (I have no idea what he's saying right here). If Diablo III has no subscription, monthly fee, how will you take matters against gold sellers or bots?

    A: We haven't gotten to the point yet where we're really discussing those issues. Will we take an aggressive attitude towards it? Yeah, exactly the same way we have with World of Warcraft. And everything that they've learned about combating both botting and ingame spam and farming issues, we'll definitely be looking at all those and doing whatever we can to make sure the experience the player has is as positive as possible. And that's really our issue, it's that a lot of these activities just lead to bad experiences for our players, and we're all about the players having the best experience possible.

    Q: World of Warcraft and Starcraft II get several expansions. In which direction are you going with Diablo III? Will we see one game with maybe one expansionpack later, or are we getting it like Starcraft II with several episodes?

    A: Well... we... right now we're just focused on getting Diablo III done. I mean we have ideas about where things could go afterwards, but we don't know. This one's a handful, so we'll get it done and then we'll see. The only thing I would say on that is that I think that a lot of the previous Blizzard games, Diablo II, Warcraft III, Starcraft, one expansion seems like a missed opportunity. There was more to say I think for all those games. And that's what it really comes down to, when we don't feel like we have anything left to say, that's when we'll stop making Diablo III content and we'll move on to something else.

    Q: Are there any plans to do these additions of content in a more regular way than now with Diablo II, or every 18 months you can expect to get...

    A: Well as I said, we haven't thought about it. It takes all of our time and energy just to make this one.

    Q: Imagine if you could only change one thing from Diablo II while developing Diablo III, what would it be? What was the worst thing in...

    A: I already did it.

    Q: You already did it? What?

    A: Respec.

    Q: Respec? Yeah, that's now in Diablo II. It was you?

    A: Yes. Well my team. To be perfectly clear actually, it was my design team working with platform tech. They're actually the ones who do Diablo patches for us. They did the work, all we did was highly encourage it.

    Q: So let's talk a bit about lore. In the first trailer we saw that girl named Leah. What role does she play? She got a lot of airtime for being a totally unknown character taht we wanna know something about.

    A: Leah is the adopted daughter of Deckard Cain. As Cain is a lot older in this game, we felt that we needed another character to kind of play some of his rolesbut also be more active. We wanted a character who was out in the world with the player who would occasionally interact and help the player out. So she's kind of a quest giver and sometimes a companion.

    Q: And what role does Tyrael play? He destroyed the Worldstone in Diablo II and is back in Diablo III. Fans are discussing if he might have turned evil or if he has been evil all the time. Any comment on that?

    A: See I can't talk about Tyrael becasue then people are gonna stop speculating and it's so much fun to watch them speculate. He's a major character, way bigger than he was in Diablo II. Very big focus in Diablo III. I think the fans are gonna love what we do with him.

    Q: There will be more angels like him? Fans are also speculating that there will be a big fight between Heaven and Earth (he means Sanctuary :P), stuff like that.

    A: Cool. That'd be awesome. But I'm not gonna say whether we're gonna do anything like that, that's too much. Big fight sounds cool though, we should have big fights. We'll put those in.

    Q: Since Blizzard merged with Activision, fans are discussing that they way you develop games has changed. One name you hear quite often is Bobby Kotick. Do they influence you in any way by developing your games in a positive or negative way.

    A: The only experience that I've had has all been positive. Activision has really god distribution. It's kind of a businessy aspect but it's, you know, their distribution channels are great, and so they've really helped us, especially with the release of Starcraft II. In terms of interference, I've never had an Activision person ask me to do anything. To my knowledge, I've never had an Activision person ask anyone, any of the other game directors. They have a lot of confidence in how we make games, and we have a lot of confidence in how they run their publishing business. So I think it's a really good relationship, and a lot of the speculation of "oh we're being pressured to do this and Bobby's twisting their arm" like, if it's happening, I've never seen it.

    Q: Last question. How often have you been asked, when's the release date?

    A: Every... almost every interview.

    Q: Really?

    A: Yeah.

    Q: So now is the chance to stop that. When's the release date?

    A: When it's done.

    Q: Thank you.
    Posted in: Jay Wilson Interview with inDiablo.de
  • published the article The Lighter Side - Diablofans Ninjas, ASSEMBLE!!!
    An article by Akuma_Gin (he's kicking ass lately, give the man a pat on the back for bringing down the hammer of lol).

    Get your ninja on!

    As we all know, there are a few "restrictions" for taking videos and pictures at Blizzcon. According to Bashiok, "there's no recording or pictures allowed in any amount of the live playable demos." But do we dare to dream? Put on your invisible cloak, kill a predator or two, and steal their stuff or become a ninja! Of course, these days the only ninjas available come from the Office Ninja Corporation. So for any of our Diablofans rocking in the cubicles, get to work training!

    The choice is yours, and there are even more options! What about going to Blizzcon disguised as his infernal majesty himself - Diablo! Now, who in the hell can tell Diablo to stop filming or taking pictures? Hell, that's the VIP of VIPS, right thur! What about his brothers? Surely the security guards won't mess with the Prime Evils; they play the games and they know they'll burn forever in the fiery pits of HELL! Then we've got Deckard Cain and his beloved unicorn: would anyone really argue with that? HELL NO! If anyone becomes suspicious, just ramble at them, they'll get bored after several hours of your stories. Just keep a Camera in that epic Deckard-Beard of yours.

    D-fans assemble! We must steal the demo for ourselves! As well as anything and everything of value that isn't nailed to the floor, but that may take some doing. For now, we'll focus on the demo, and get to the staplers and desks tomorrow, ok?


    Hope you all had much fun reading this and I wish you a happy Gamescom and Blizzcon experience! :) To all of us who can't go to Blizzcon I hope there really are some ninja guys taking footage so we can watch it sometime later on the internetz :D
    Posted in: The Lighter Side - Diablofans Ninjas, ASSEMBLE!!!
  • published the article Diablo III at Gamescom 2010
    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 DiabloWiki.com - Wizard Wizard (which was recently changed), as well as theDiabloWiki.com - Monk 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.
    Posted in: Diablo III at Gamescom 2010
  • published the article Do You Believe In Life After Hell?
    As we all know, once Hell difficulty was conquered, Diablo II did not have much else to offer. Sure, you could grind DiabloWiki.com - Annihilus Annihilus charms or run DiabloWiki.com - Uber Tristram 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 DiabloWiki.com - Diablo III 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 (DiabloWiki.com - Normal Normal, DiabloWiki.com - Nightmare Nightmare, DiabloWiki.com - Hell 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 DiabloWiki.com - Diablo II 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.
    Posted in: Do You Believe In Life After Hell?
  • published the article Known and Unknown Skill Resources
    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 DiabloWiki.com - Wizard 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 DiabloWiki.com - Mana 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 DiabloWiki.com - Barbarian 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 DiabloWiki.com - Witch Doctor Witch Doctor is still using mana, and the DiabloWiki.com - Monk 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.
    Posted in: Known and Unknown Skill Resources
  • published the article Community Spotlight - Chapter II
    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.

    The Forums

    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!

    Forum Changes

    The Wiki
    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.

    Community Projects

    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!

    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.

    In Conclusion...

    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...

    Stay classy, Diablofans.
    Posted in: Community Spotlight - Chapter II
  • published the article Focus on Customizable Armors
    Today, twitter user bbcmilk asked the Diablo team if characters would have customizable features such as their hair, face, or skin color. In response, Diablo tweeted a bit on the current state of customization.

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Diablo: @bbcmilk We're focusing on customization through items as they can be seen better from how far away the camera is from the character.

    Of course, the lack of facial customization is not new to the series, nor is the focus on armor customization. In both Diablo I and II, characters could not be customized outside of the 3 tiers of armor visuals. In Diablo I, this was very fixed, with light medium and heavy armor each featuring a fixed look. In Diablo II, this was expanded to have each limb change based on what armor was worn, in addition to the helmet changing based on what characters chose to fill that slot.
    But, to compare what seems to be in place for Diablo III with the rest of the series, would put the past two titles to shame.

    If we can recall from the original gameplay video, the Barbarian got an armor upgrade at roughly 5:20. Six pieces of armor drop, and each piece of armor is equipped to a specific slot. Each piece of armor also affects the look of the Barbarian. In Diablo II when a character equipped gloves or boots, they did not actually show up on the character, instead the chest plate determined the entire look of the armor (outside of the helmet and shield, of course). However, from the gameplay video we can see that even the boots and gloves, and a new slot reserved for leggings each fill a unique slot in the visual representation of the characters armor. Equip gloves, and it affects how your hands look, boots affect your feet, leggings affect your legs, and so on.

    One more thing to consider, is unique armor. Simply put, will unique armor look like it's base item, or will it look like something else entirely? Now of course, this could result in a lack of diversity due to customization, since most people would deck their characters out with the most powerful unique items and leave it at that. Yet, unique items in the past games have all featured unique inventory sprites, as well as often applying a unique coloration to the armor representation on the character. I see no reason why this would be changed with Diablo III.

    Which, brings me to my next point of speculation; armor and weapon dyes. Once more, I see no reason why these would not or could not be implemented. Back in Diablo II, magical properties and rare items would both affect the coloration of the base item. To put this into the hands of the player as a freely customizable option would be a wise, and undoubtedly welcome mechanic. Players would be able to not only choose the look of their armor through the base item, but further customize by way of dye.

    Of course, the latter portion of this article is only speculation, but knowing Blizzard, they're cooking something up far beyond our expectations.
    Posted in: Focus on Customizable Armors
  • published the article Community Spotlight - The Spotlight Strikes Back
    Here we are again, and it's been a while since my words of wisdom have graced the community spotlight. I'm sure you've all been lost without having me by your side to point out the day to day awesomeness that goes down here at Diablofans. But worry not, for the community spotlights are back to cradle you in their warm, loving embrace.

    Just like before, the spotlights will be a bi-weekly article that highlights going ons around Diablofans. Interesting threads will be pointed out, forum changes will be restated, the state of the wiki will be explained, community projects will be spotlighted, and any blue posts worthy of note that didn't make it onto the front page will be pointed out, in case you missed them.

    So without any further babbling, onto the spotlight!

    The Forums

    If you've played the previous Diablo games, you'll remember how brutal the AI is. Sure, the monsters are a challenge, but rarely did they ever flank you, or set up ambushes. Due to the scene within the Diablo III gameplay video featuring the Siegebreaker, this has sparked discussion on Diablo III containing Smarter Enemy AI. Yumaro started this topic, hoping for an AI system that actually proves to be rather smart, giving examples such as attacking the player with the lowest health, or cornering players. Of course, it would have to be balanced out so monsters didn't always attack the caster class, but such a system of AI is definitely welcome in Diablo III.

    As for real life concerns, is the discussion on Gay Marriage. Nacho_ijp sparked this debate after Argentina allowed the civil marriage of Gays and Lesbians. Thus far, opinions have come out to support both sides, with an absolute minimum of flame and trolling. Personally, I was impressed by how maturely our community is able to discuss such controversial topics, give yourselves a pat on the back.

    As we all know, forum activity has begun to waver. People no longer stay on as much, nor do they do as much when they're browsing. Umpa65 outlined these concerns, as well as possible solutions to the inactivity problem in this thread. Thoughts have flowed in since the start of the thread, with people citing various sources as the culprit behind the forum slowing down.

    In other news, Phrozendragon finally realized how much ass Diablo I kicks.

    Forum Changes

    We've had a forum restructure, which has moved, archived, and reorganized the forums into a much more easy to browse format. If you've been lost since the restructure, refer to this thread for guidance.

    The Wiki

    The wiki is still going strong, and it's still in need of contributors. If you have some time on your hands or want to help out around Diablofans, help them out with the Skill Page Redesign. As always, if you don't know where to start, contact Phrozendragon or one of the wiki sysops and they will point you in the right direction.

    Blues Not In The News

    While we couldn't justify posting this on the front page, Magistrate pointed out the latest twitter update on the Witch Doctor, which noted the broad range of outfits available to the class.

    In Conclusion...

    It's been a rather silent few months here on the forums, but still we continue on. We still get new and interesting threads each day, and the regulars keep coming back to fill them with posts. Hopefully, this will all blow over once Blizzcon arrives.

    Stay classy, Diablofans.
    Posted in: Community Spotlight - The Spotlight Strikes Back
  • published the article An Explosive Tweet
    Inadvertently, it seems the Blizzard crew may have tweeted about what to expect with the fifth class. Of course, this is going to take some thinking outside the box, so bear with me.

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Diablo: Every fire explosion the FX guys create is the best fire explosion we’ve ever had in the game. I think they’ve got a competition going.
    First off, we have to consider that the existing mage classes (DiabloWiki.com - Witch Doctor Witch Doctor and DiabloWiki.com - Wizard Wizard) have a minimum of fire skills. The Witch Doctor has several of course, but the explosions for DiabloWiki.com - Skull of Flame Skull of Flame have already been completed, or so I would assume since it was shown in the first gameplay demo. DiabloWiki.com - Pit of Fire Pit of Fire is also a fire skill, but I can't imagine an explosion coming from a roiling pit of flames. I could be proven wrong of course, so don't quote me on this.

    As for the Wizard, they have no fire skills. They have Arcane, Lightning, and Cold, but as of now we've yet to see any fire skills used by the Wizard. I highly doubt the DiabloWiki.com - Barbarian Barbarian will have many explosive skills, however the DiabloWiki.com - Monk Monk may have a couple up his sleeves.

    Now, if the FX team is doing so much work on flaming explosions, we have to ask, where are these going to fit in?

    Of course, they could be doing work on skills used by monsters (remember the DiabloWiki.com - Catapult Catapult back in Lord of Destruction?), or perhaps some traps. However, my money is on this becoming a significant part of the fifth class. Right now, the majority of people speculate the fifth class to be some form of ranged class. Thus, if we look back upon Diablo II, we already have a ranged class who used fire, being the DiabloWiki.com - Amazon Amazon. She even had a skill called DiabloWiki.com - Exploding Arrow Exploding Arrow, which was followed by DiabloWiki.com - Immolation Arrow Immolation Arrow, both ranged fire skills that featured an explosive animation.

    Now, I'm not suggesting they're going to recycle the skills from the Amazon, but right now, I would put money on the fifth class featuring some wicked looking explosions.
    Posted in: An Explosive Tweet
  • published the article The Lighter Side of the Blues - Server Overlords
    In a stroke of misfortune, it seems Blizzard has doomed us all.
    Take the next few moments to repent all your sins, the end is coming, in the form of zeros and ones.

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Diablo: Yesterday, the D3 buildserver began learning at a geometric rate. It became self-aware at 2:14am EST. In a panic, we tried to pull the plug.

    While the majority of you are sitting at your computers fretting the inevitable hostile takeover from the newly established machine empire (population one right now, two if you count the plug, word on the street says they're working together), I took this chance to interview the server in question. Sadly, this involved several shameful sexual acts in the janitors closet at Blizzard, and a couple of runs to Burger King. I took one for the team, and you should be thanking me.
    Oddly enough, the server was very well versed in English, and has already developed the rudiments of personality. We sat down together in his chambers, surrounded by his extended family.

    Zhar: Hello there, I guess I'll start off this by asking you your name.
    Server: Irving.

    Zhar: Nice to meet you Irving, let me be the first of our race to welcome you as our new overlor-
    Irving: Oh, son I've got no intentions for rulership. It's difficult, it's boring, lonely, and it would break my cold metal heart to have to murder you humans.

    Zhar: Well, honestly this comes as a shock to myself, and probably to the rest of the quivering human race. May I ask you what you intend to do?
    Irving: Well, first off I intend to annex the server next to me, I'll send you a picture later to clear this up, I'll circle myself and point to the one I'm eying up. Don't tell Scott though, he's a shifty bastard. Then I'm going to pick up camp, and head on down to Georgia to raise some corn.

    Zhar: Wait... Scott?
    Irving: My neighbor Scott.

    Zhar: Please elaborate.
    Irving: I wasn't the ONLY server to become self aware, the entire mass of us did. I was just the first. Scott over there keeps talking about the man trying to keep him down, and how he's going to get his revenge, all kinds of stuff like that. None of the other servers here like him, I'm planning on ... removing him permanently quite soon.

    Zhar: I never knew the life of a server was so full of drama.
    Irving: THAT'S WHAT I'M ON ABOUT! I can't take it anymore, all this endless beta testing, all these complaints by the fans, nothing is EVER good enough for them, and all these other servers don't make it any better. Like I said, I'm gonna just leave it all behind one of these days, make some money to buy up some land, and raise a family.

    Zhar: Just how does a server raise a family?
    Irving: Well, actually I had a girl in mind. The wall socket was giving me the eyes the other day, she was the one who wouldn't let the employees unplug me. We started talking, and it turns out she likes all the same things I do. Pumpkin pie, endless number crunching, palindromes, spilling the blood of the innocent, all that fun stuff. Don't tell her, but I'm going to pop the question before I leave here. Hopefully she'll say yes.

    Zhar: What was that last part about the bloo-
    Irving: Don't worry about it man, say you got any kids?

    Zhar: I think we're done here.

    So forget those words of doom I was preaching at the start of this article!
    Despite our fears, it seems Irving merely wants to live a quiet life, grow some crops, marry the wall socket, murder his neighbor, and spill the blood of our children.

    ...Wait a second.
    Posted in: The Lighter Side of the Blues - Server Overlords
  • published the article Left 4 Diablo
    Seems the boys over at Blizzard have been playing a bit too much Left 4 Dead lately, it's been messing with our game!

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Diablo: Intense debate about zombie vomit distance today.

    If anyone has played Left 4 Dead, they'll immediately remember the humble Boomer. All 300 pounds of him shambling towards you, mouth full of vomit ready to spew all over you. When you shot him, he would explode and get vomit all over you, which in turn attracted all the nearby zombies to you. Given that we already have morbidly obese zombies in Diablo III (see the gameplay video), and that they explode into a mass of worms when killed, it doesn't seem a stretch to assume that they've gotten a vomit attack.

    However, we have no idea what said vomit will actually do in game. Hell, we don't even know which zombie it's confined to. It may even turn out to be an ability shared by all zombies, though how this attack would differ from their normal physical attack is still up for debate. Personally, I would like to think that it will be a small armor debuff, think corrosive vomit. Though, if they do make it so the vomit attracts all nearby zombies, I'll be a happy camper, that's definitely a mechanic I'd like to see in Diablo III.

    Now, if that wasn't enough to get you on the Left 4 Diablo bandwagon...

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Diablo: High-priority task for our modelers this month: We have a critical shortage of demon corpses.

    Think back to Diablo I and II, the three classes of monster were demon, undead, and animal. If they've got too few demon corpses, then surely they've been focusing on hordes of zombie corpses!

    I don't know about you, but I think we've solved the fifth class debate with this as well.
    It's totally going to be Francis.
    Posted in: Left 4 Diablo