Diablo III Development Update

UGO recently conducted an interview with three of the designers behind Diablo III, including lead designer Jay Wilson.

On character classes:
There was also the question of character classes. For Diablo III’s development team, they had to ask themselves which classes fit the gameplay. As Wilson explained, the intent all along has been to build Diablo III’s character classes – old and new – to support the game rather than building the game around specific classes. The Witch Doctor, for example, bears a number of similarities to Diablo II’s Necromancer, but is meant to be played as more of a direct damage-dealer than the older game’s class. While this is all well and good in a non-revealing sort of way, the newsy bit is Wilson’s explicit confirmation that the old Necro will not be one of the three as-yet-unannounced Diablo III classes.
On Battle.net improvements:
The most exciting changes we discussed related to the new and improved Battle.net. Most of what’s going to happen is still in the planning stages, but fans can in general expect to see more integration between game and community. No one will be forced to sign on to Battle.net to play Diablo III, but characters created offline will not be playable online in the interests of limiting any potential for cheating the system.

As for community features, the recently announced Achievements for Diablo III (and StarCraft II) will also tie into the redesigned Battle.net. There are additional plans to streamline item-sharing between different characters, one suggestion being to allow items to be traded or sent through whispers. Fans can also probably expect to see voice chat in Diablo III, though modders and modding tools will not be officially supported due to the game’s random nature.
On pricing:
Pricing for the game is still being decided, but don’t expect to pay subscription fees for access to Battle.net. Sure, there’s always the possibility that different membership tiers will be introduced later on, but nothing we heard during our chat suggested that the team has anything other than a free-to-play model in mind for Diablo III’s online play.
Read the full article on UGO here.


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