The question is, will this kind of limit be necessary to ensure stable animations and effects, as claimed by Bashiok on behalf of the Blizzard game developers, or are they simply trying to ease their workload by purposefully limiting the creativity of players? The discussion, as it continues, can be seen [B]here [/B]for your viewing pleasure.
In the past, when the game was not as far along as it is now, very nebulous and vague replies were given for any inquiries about the function of character limitations in wearing certain kinds of gear. That was, however, some time ago, and it would seem that things are coming along now more quickly and definitively than in the past, as Bashiok goes to reply to fans about the status of character-specific gear:
Quote from[I][...][/I']we do now have some restrictions on weapon types usable by each class. It's been part of the game for a while now.
In Diablo II, many can remember that apart from gear specifically tagged with a character-specific label, players could equip their characters with any gear in the game that dropped. The Sorceress could wield a maul and the Necromancer could wield a two-handed hammer to seize of a barrel. While this did not in most cases work very effectively, as many other item types were tailor-made by developers with specific modifiers to account for specific character types and builds, it allowed a reasonable amount of creativity and past-time playability for players looking for something "outside the norm". This, however, apparently required more development time for additional logical animations to account for the use of certain skills when bearing a certain type of item for a certain class.
Bashiok went on to discuss the importance of the decision to regard characters wearing any type of item as a vital part of the game as something that could be dropped for other, possibly more exciting and important, parts of the game mechanics, specifically pertaining to weapons:
Quote fromAllowing every class to use every weapon type was actually going to require a huge amount of time and effort and it would have meant cutting out or cutting into other features. We evaluated really how often people would want to have their class holding a weapon type that (traditionally) contradicted their class-style versus that work going in to other features - specifically having a lot more skills and a lot more skill-rune effects. We made the obvious choice which is making sure there are a ton of awesome skills and rune effects to choose from.
However, quickly after this thought he went on to say, with a liberal amount of obvious typed-dictation, that allowed weapon types for characters will not dictate what stats will be on them at all times, although only logical modifiers will be on the equipment:
Quote fromBecause I can see the conclusions being jumped to RIGHT NOW in my old cranium - let me state that weapon types do not dictate stats. At least not wholly (barbarians can't use staves so there's no point in allowing fury related stats on them). We understand that the game is about variation, customization, and experimentation in class builds. We're not World of Warcraft, we're not looking to make weapon stats "optimal" for the types and classes that will use them. Which is to say, we're not going to put specific stats in specific amounts on each weapon of a specific type because we're making assumptions about what each class wants out of their stats. We want variation, and experimentation, and all that good stuff. These restrictions don't affect those goals, it really just means you probably won't see a wizard lugging around a two-handed axe. Kind of a bummer, but then think about what it affords us to work on with more and better looking skills, a more robust rune-skill system, etc.
This will, though, as he said, not affect the customization of builds with the individual character, pertaining mostly, perhaps, to skill modifiers. He goes on to promise that they are working hard to ensure that custom "off" builds will still be both fun and effective, something that was found lacking for many in Diablo II.
Quote from[I][...][/I']we want to have a large variation of stats on all weapons to allow for experimentation and "off-build" customization.
When questioned about consideration of limiting armor choice for characters, Bashiok replied with a no, for the most part:
Quote fromThere still aren't any armor restriction planned. Armor is a different issue as it's shown in much the same was as Diablo II, so more types don't actually increase the animation/modeling costs like weapon types would.
And, of course, he would not be a very good Blizzard representative if he did not end on a note of ambiguity, throwing any facts back to the wind of imprecision:
Quote from[B][I]The list of what weapon types are or aren't allowed for each class aren't final and could change.[/I][/B'] They're fairly logical choices and what is most commonly seen as closely tied to the hero archetypes. In our current game the wizard can't wield a two-handed sword for instance, but can still use a one handed sword and shield if so desired.
With that, we end with a hope of what is on most of our minds as we consider the newer implementations and focuses in the up-coming sequel to the decade-old Diablo franchise- that the ideas that they are choosing to work with are primarily focal points that they want to make the series, as a whole, better with in this new installment, focusing on the first-hand rational issues:
Quote fromWe want to spend our time and effort on what makes sense to making the game better.
(See [B]here [/B]for a similar discussion.)