​Diablo III BlizzCon Open Q&A

Reminder: Also check out Diablo III: Gameplay Systems + Crusader that we liveblogged earlier. It has a huge gallery and a lot of interesting information!

Diablo III Open Q&A
The Q&A panel is upon us! The Diablo III Open Q&A is among the last of the BlizzCon 2013 panels and the last Diablo one. We will be liveblogging this as well, so keep refreshing for new information!

Update: The panel is now over.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account binding of items and PS4
Trading become the easiest and fastest way to get items and we wanted to change that. We still see value in trading and want to keep it in the game, but we still haven't finalized it. Maybe the top tier of Legendaries will become account bound and also high level gems. We're still thinking about it.

There aren't any future announcements for PS4, apart from the fact you should be able to get your PS3 saves on your PS4

Do you guys have any plans on expending stash space?
At this point - no. We're approaching the problem from a different point of view. We want you to use the items a lot more instead of keep the stuff. Salvaging items is a lot more useful now. We want to do a lot of things to make sure you don't keep a lot of gear.

We still need crafting materials. Are we ever going to be able to do anything with whites and greys?
White items currently salvage into crafting materials. In the live game you have your normal, nightmare, hell and inferno materials. It's kind of awkward how you change difficulties and suddenly your reagents are no longer needed. We're making it so you use a single set of materials throughout 1 to 60. We want materials to matter but we don't want to make it a chore.

Are the Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye going to be coming to the game?
During development there were a lot of plans that we explored putting in, but there wasn't a good place for it. The Book of Tyrael and the Book of Cain both explain a bit what's going on with them.

There seem to be new monster affixes, how much more are added?
We are adding a few new ones in Reaper of Souls, but we're also looking at normal monster abilities and trying to make them more interesting.

How far along are you?
As far as what you see out there. We understand you guys want content, probably on a more regular basis. We're fully committed to get stuff out there.

How about a second expansion?

One of my favorite things in D2 was getting a Two-Handed Weapon and getting it in one (Barbarian)
Well the Crusader does have a passive that lets him do that.

Will you have Ladder exclusive drop items? Will you provide Beta keys for those that pre-order?
We're not talking about Ladder. There's a desire for such, like D2 had, runewords and such. We want to see what's most appealing and design the best experience for that type of play.

We haven't announced pre-orders yet or anything exclusive. You'll have to wait for the announcement, sorry.

Is there going to be a full chat lobby for Clans?
Partially, but not exactly. There's a Clan roster window and it has clan chat. We haven't gone back to the Lobby though. When you try this please post your feedback on the forums, we're very open to discussion.

I may or may not have read some datamined information about the Devil's Hand. Elaborate?
No. It's cool though!

The banners for the Virtual ticket, you couldn't give us some wings or something a little cooler?
Actually Kevin loves the banner, so it's Kevin's fault.

Are current top builds going to be changing, like Archon, CM and others? What about life-steal?
We do see life-steal as an issue. It really distorts how you evaluate your items. We want you to make better decisions about if you want more toughness, or healing or damage.

And about the build changes - yes. The new Legendary items will really open up a lot of interesting builds. A lot of builds are unlocked by getting a new Legendary.

Crusader - I felt almost like a glass cannon trying the game. Died a lot, but annihilated everything. I killed Asmodan in a few seconds. Was that your intent or is it going to change?
We tend to over-emphisize the offensive abilities on demos, so that you can check them out. The Crusader definitely needs to be tuned, his abilities included.

Have you thought about bonuses for staying alive, like 'congratulations, here's a small buff'?
Well, nothing we've worked out yet. You can have a death penalty or you can have a stay-alive bonus. Whenever possible we'd like to give people bonuses, instead of penalizing them. We have a death penalty that works really well right now, but there's really no meaningful stay-alive bonus aside from Nephalem Valor.

I think Wyatt and I have had a few conversations on this topic. We did come up with some ideas. If you guys have any ideas, pass them along. It's something we want to address.

Are there going to be more tying novels?
Our creative team is trying to get more novels like that. I can definitely see more coming

Do you know if they're going to be comming out more than every 2 years?
If we have a story that we really wanted to tell - yes. At the beginning of Reaper of Souls there was an entire story with Tyrael. That felt like a story that we wanted to tell.

Trifecta stats - what else can we look for besides those 3?
I've mentioned before that it's sad that people only care about damage. By removing life-steal we hope people will start looking at increasing their health and armor as well. We don't want to take away trifecta, instead we want to provide you with more options. Instead of just being 3, what if there was 7 or 8 options and now you have to choose, cooldown reduction, skill resource reduction etc.

Bonus damage for skills have changed the gameplay for me, I often change my spec because of that affix.

Currently blue and yellow packs don't differentiate much. Changes for them?
We have made some changes to Champion and Rare packs. For Rare instead of having 1 big and several small we could have a skeletal sumoner with 2 skeletal shield-bearers. Champion packs will also have slight changes.

Currently damage comes primarily from the weapon. Why was that done? Are you keeping this system in Reaper of Souls?
We're pretty happy with it. In Diablo II for example you might not care about your weapon at all. We had to make some trade-offs, it wasn't an easy decision.

Demonic Essences - will we use them in Reaper of Souls?
Don't think we'll be able to answer that today.

Critical Mass is used by 95% of my friends. Is the problem with the passive or with the skills used with it?
I think the problem is with the passive itself. We want to make sure the Wizard has good alternatives to it. It feels powerful to perma-CC an enemy, but it's very bad for the general gameplay. Frost Nova is still good, but I don't think we want to be in a place where I can perma-stun enemies all the time.

Will there be something like Hellfire Rings in Reaper of Souls?
Yes, but we're not announcing it today.

Why did you split the item properties into categories, will it impact the Mystic?
It's nice to have secondary skills, we wanted them to be on the item without the item losing power. It adds valuable depth and choice, especially with the addition of some of the new ones. And yes, with the Mystic you can enchant both Primary and Secondary properties. They're separate in Enchanting though.

Reaper of Souls CE - if you do one can you ensure that there are enough available?
We'll certainly try to do that. We don't actually determine that. Retailers tell us how many they want depending on the need.

Are currently well geared characters going to roflstomp through the expansion?
No. There's going to be power inflation for sure.

Regarding the art direction for angels as enemies. Are you going to deviate from humans with wings, like in the old Testament? You see many types of demons, but only 1 type of angel.
We already have established look for angels. We want to make it interesting, but not go away from that.

The angels closer to Maltael have become corrupted in different ways. Some of the angels you'll see in Pandemonium are starting to look more different than the angels you've seen thus far.

I was wondering if you had plans for releasing Diablo 1's soundtrack?
I think it's a good idea, we should talk to people.

Is there any kind of update on PvP arena, or a new follower?
A week doesn't go by that someone in the office doesn't ask "What's up with PvP Josh?". The real challenge is finding a PvP mode that does justice to what the core fantasy of Diablo is.

We had a serious talk about adding a new follower, but instead we decided to deepen the followers we currently have. We feel like we didn't do everything we wanted to do with them. So we took the development time and did some things with them.

In Diablo 3 you could go and talk to them in town, hear their back story and all of that, but it was still just a conversation. Now in Reaper of Souls their stories will evolve. So it's not just a back story anymore. You'll have them advance and help them develop as a character.

Blizzard game seem to have a lot of extendability, like mods and UI changes. Is there a way there could be some ingame tools that tell you 'you're going to do this much dps'?
One of the difficulties for the audience in general is there's always a conflict between what we want to do as players and what we want to do as designers. I wish the focus wasn't so high on damage. Diablo's an ARPG. I don't think the game's in a good state when everyone's hyper focused on "how much damage did I do?". I think elements like who crowd-controlled the boss or mobility or amplifying damage need to matter more. We're focused on a variety of experiences and wouldn't want to provide more tools for letting people maximizing a number.

I play in Eyefinity and one of the shortcomings are the inventory and character sheets are on the 1st and 3rd screen. Could you make it so I can move it around?
Right now we don't have any plans to customize the UI. It's something we will consider down the road though.

Right now every class has a talent or a skill that allows you to convert crit chance into cooldown reduction. Have you tried splitting those?
I don't think our responsibility is to make crit worse. Our job is to give you more things that you might want to do instead. Like passives. No plans to directly hit crit head on.

I play Nvidia 3D and when I was playing it the particles are right in my face. Going to the PS4 will you guys implemented 3D capabilities in that?
Actually that's a pretty good suggestion. Thanks!

My question is about PvP. I played WoW professionally and a lot of hardcore in Diablo 3. Have you ever considered incorporating PvE elements in a PvP mode so it feels better, but it's not all about the balance?
I think adding PvE elements... there's something there. As I keep thinking about it I think it's part of the solution. Maybe it's not PvP, maybe it's PvPvE. Maybe some point in the future we can have an announcement!

Skills where you click and drag, I was wondering how that would work on the PS4?
If I remember correctly we had a specific skill with that. The first two required mouse movements, but we removed both of them. The final version's effect has its own AI and moves around the Crusader. So we probably won't have that issue, unless you meant something else?

Well, there are certain skills that require a bit more precision. It's more of a challenge on the console side of things. You're probably going to see solutions similar to what we've done with PS3. Holding the button to increase the distance you Leap for example.

Right now only Cold has an elemental effect. What about the other elements?
We haven't worked that out quite yet.

How do you feel about high-level gems dropping?
That's something that we talk about. There's some changes that we have to evaluate, particularly with the removal of the AH. If you play through the game self-found you're actually happy to reach some high-level gems.

With Diablo it's very linear story line. Is there any idea of making events be more consequential?
Tying random events to things that happen in the world is a cool idea we've tried, but it removes a potential for randomness in the other situation as well. So having those we actually have less random worlds. We've decided we'll try to keep things more self-contained.

I mentioned before going an adventure with your Followers. If you don't go with them - their story doesn't progress. So there's a small choice in there. And we do have a few other things. If you're playing the first set of events and you complete it you'll be able to get to a second set of events, which builds on the first. If you don't do the first event when it rolls the next time you play you're back in the poll of having the first event roll again.


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