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BlizzCon 2015 has officially begun!
The BlizzCon opening ceremony has concluded. I you want to watch any of the coming panels, you'll need a Virtual Ticket. We will keep you updated on Diablo news right here, though!
Update 5:20 PST - This was the last update for today. Tomorrow, we'll bring you a properly formatted post with all the news from BlizzCon Day 1 combined!
Diablo III Panel - Blood and Treasure - Live Recap
The only Diablo III panel at this year's BlizzCon has ended and the offical 2.4 preview is up!
- On stage: Game Director Josh Mosqueira, Lead Designer Kevin Martens, Senior Game Designer Alex Sulman, Senior Technical Designer Wyatt Cheng, and Senior Level Designer Matthew Berger
- Talks about the Legacy of Reaper of Souls, and Diablo in general, also a reminder to join the short talks at the Slaughtered Calf Inn
- The Expansions and Patches post release are what really made the games what they are.
- A look back on Patch 2.0 and the RoS launch as well as the additions of Greater Rifts, Seasons, and Kanai's Cube
- Patch 2.4 will introduce 2 new areas, Set Dungeons, and more!
- We're starting off with a look into the new areas and creatures.
- The new Areas are the Eternal Woods (adjacent to the Ruins of Sescheron), and the Royal Quarters, accessible from the other stairs of in Leoric's Manor.
- There's a new larger zone, the Greyhollow Island (accessible via Act V), featuring 16 new monsters.
- Bone Breakers, a Sasquatsch types, throwing rocks at you.
- Glowing Death, a Wasp Nest which releases vanilla wasps is you get too close
- There are over 175 new Bounties split between Acts 3, 4, and 5, some of which will be based off of new Events and Bounty Grounds
- Bounty Grounds are accessible via a small portal that leads to one of 6 small worlds
- One of these features 6 Cursed Shrines which you have to click
- Another one features a lot of Fallen Shamans you need to kill, but there are a lot of Fallen in the way
- There are more timed events that require you to kill monsters quickly.
- New game systems are influenced by player feedback
- There's 3 categories of feedback: #1: Not feasible, #2 Let's do it!; #3: Address root causes
- The Buff UI was a major point for feedback, and is getting revamped!
- Buffs that don't affect your moment-to-moment combat are being removed from the buff bar.
- Instead, permanent skills (e.g. Monk Mantras) get a golden border, activating a short-term skill places a decreasing bar on top of the item, displaying the duration
- Inna's Monks buffs are now placed in a buff holder that expands only on overmouse, just like other long-term buffs from other players
- Another important point for feedback was the gap between solo and group play
- There should still be an incentive to group, since Diablo is first and foremost a multiplayer game
- Monster Health for smaller groups and solo players is being reduced
- Experience Gear's effectiveness will be reduced by a factor of 10
- To compensate, monster XP is being increased across the board
- A console feature, the Massacre XP multiplier is coming to PC; it increases XP gained by a factor of up to 2.5 while you keep up a massacre.
- Empowered Rifts allow you to spend Gold to get a fourth bonus roll for Gem upgrades if you finish it.
- The Gold cost will scale with the GR level, a GR 50 will cost about 50 million gold, a GR 75 will cost 540 million gold.
- New Cube Recipe: Permanently upgrade an Encient Items by sacrificing a Legendary Gem and a regular Gem. It will add 5 of the corresponding main stat per rank of the Legendary Gem that you used.
- Damage numbers are now shortened with "k", "M", or "B"
- Also, your highest damage numbers will now be displayed in orange and linger a little longer
- There will be an indicator for having Cubed legendary powers.
- Death's Breath will get its own unique color (teal) and a new particle effect to be more noticeable
- You can now compare follower items
- New Monk Belt: Sweeping Winds gains stack when you're not dealing damage.
- New Barb Might Weapon: coming soon
- New WD Mojo: Vile Hive: Locust Swarm gains the effect of the Pestilence Rune
- New Wiz item: Energy Twister damage increase depending on the number of twisters you have out
- Redesigned Thorns of the Invoker Set:
- 2p: Your Thorns damage now hits al enemies in a 15 yard radius around you. Each time you hit an enemy with Punish, Slash, or block an attack you Thorns is increased by 50% for 2 seconds.
- 4p: You take 50% less damage for 8 seconds after casting Bombardment.
- 6p: The attack speed of Punish and Slash are increased by 50% and deal 600% of your Thorns damage on the first enemy hit.
- Redesigned Shadow's Mantle Set:
- 2p While equipped with a melee weapon, all damage is increased by 1000%.
- 4p: Shadow Power gains the effect of every rune and lasts forever.
- 6p: Impale deals an additional 40,000% weapon damage to the first enemy hit.
- Redesigned Legacy of Nightmares Set:
- From panel: While this is your only Item Set bonus, your damage dealt is increased by 75% and damage taken is reduced by 4% for every Ancient items you have equipped.
- From website: While this is your only Item Set bonus, every Ancient item you have equipped increases your damage dealt by 800% and reduces your damage taken by 4%. (probably the incorrect one)
- Set Dungeons are based around the powers of the 6p Sets
- There are Tomes with clues as to where the dungeon portal is located
- You need to wear the relevant set to enter the dungeon. You'll get 2 regular objectives and a Mastery objective to fulfill withing a time limit.
- There are 24 of those dungeons, each with unique challenges in unique locations.
- If you finish all the objectives for all Set dungeons of a class, you earn a pennant.
- If you master all of them, you'll earn a set of wings to show off.
- Season 5 will feature Rebirth: You can start over for the Season, but your records will be maintained and you'll get your old gear mailed to you once the Season ends.
- Season 4 will end in late December.
- There will be a short break between Season 4 and 5.
- Season 5 will be 3 months long, which might be the go-to Season length from now on.
- Season Journey goals and Conquests will rotate through in future Seasons.
- Future Seasons will also feature new cosmetic rewards: Portrait frames, pets, pennants, (Andariel!) Wings
- There will be no Season-exclusive Legendaries next Season.
- Each class will get one guaranteed class Set for their Season.
- Patch 2.4 will feature 50 new Legendary items and 10 revised Sets
- Every Season Journey that you play will give you a new Stash Tab, for up to 10 tabs, the first of which will be available right away with 2.4.
- Console players will go up from 210 to 350 slots, since there are no Seasons
- Technical PTR on November 9th
- Patch 2.4 will come to PTR later next week!
- Q&A time!
- The devs are happy with Ramaladni's Gift RNG, to make them feel special
- Using Legendary Gems to Augment items multiple times will replace the previous upgrade
- Set dungeons have a fixed difficulty level and non-random layout.
- Every Set dungeon has 2 achievements associated with it, so that you can track them
- No plans for making "Follower can not die" baseline
- Cave layouts are hard to make worthwhile in GR
- The Server Slam a few weeks back helped develop optimizations to reduce lag, though none of them are live yet
- No plans to differentiate pet damage
- And that's a wrap!
Info from the demo stations
The guys over at /r/Diablo managed to play a bit at the demo machines and brought the first pieces of information in via their reddit live tool.
And another redditor has played at the demo booths and shared some more info!
- New Zone: Greyhollow Island - Island Zone with a forset theme with side-area (Tidal Caves)
- Many buff icons have been moved right above the corresponding skill
- High damage numbers are now displayed with "M" or "B" suffixes for millions or billions
- There is a fuse timer that keeps track of your kill streak-eligibility
- New WD Bracers: Lakumba's Ornament - Reduce damage taken by 5% for every Soul Harvest stack
- Shadow Set rework:
- 2p:1000% damage while a melee weapon is equipped
- 4p: Shadow Power gains the effect of every Rune and it lasts forever
- 6p: 40,000% weapon damage bonus on the first hit of Impale
- Jade Set rework:
- 2p: Haunt deals damage worth of 120 seconds if the target is already Haunted.
- 4p: Soul Harvest gains the effect of every Rune; reduce Cooldowns by 1 second every time you cast Sould Harvest or Locust.
- 6p: When you cast Soul Harvest, consume all DoTs and deal 300 seconds worth of their damage.
- New DH Belt: When you cast Impale, Vault for free for 2 seconds
- New DH Dagger: Lord Greenstone's Fan - Gain a charge every second that increases Fan of Knives damage by 250-300%. Up to 30 charges
- New Barb Ring: Ring of Might - After casting Furious Charge, Ground Stomp, or Leap, take 60% less damage for 8 seconds
- New Barb Weapon: Blade of the Tribes - War Cry and Threatening Shout cause an Avalanche and an Earthquake
- Redesigned Heart of Iron (Crusader only?): Gains Thorns equal to 200% of your Vitality
- Topaz in weapon give up to 20,000 Thorns damage
- New Crus item: Omnislash - Slash attacks in all direction
- New Legendary Gem: Plague of Thorns - Adds Thorn damage, Taunt first enemy hit by your Primary Skills for 2 seconds
- New Set: Endless Walk
- While moving, damage taken is reduced by up to 50%
- While standing still, damage dealt is increased by up to 100%
- You gain and lose stacks as you transition between moving and standing still.
- Redesigned Akkhan Set 6p: Increases damage by 450% (while Akarat's Champion is active?).
- New DH Sword: Sword of Ill Will - Chakram does 1.0-1.4% more damage per point of Hatred.
- New DH Melee Weapon: Karlei's Point - Impale return 15 Hatred if it hits a target that's already impaled.
- New DH Ring: Elusive Ring - Gain 60% damage reduction for 8 seconds after using Smoke Screen, Shadow Power, or Vault
- Redesigned Reakor's Set
- 2p: Furious Charge refunds a charge if it hits one enemy
- 4p: Furious Charge gains the effect of every rune and does 400% more damage
- 6p: Every use of Furious Charge increases the damage of the next Fury spending attack by 300%. Stacks. Every Fury Spending attack consumes up to 5 charges.
- Redesigned Firebird's Set
- 2p: If character dies, a Meteor will fall from the sky to revive them (60 seconds cooldown)
- 4p: Dealing Fire damage causes the enemy to take the same amount of Fire damage over 3 seconds, stacking up to 3000% damage per second. After reaching 3000% damage per second, the enemy will burn until they die
- 6p: Gain 100% bonus damage for every burning enemy, 1500% for every burning Elite.
- New WD Weapon: Sacred Harvester - Soul Harvest stack to 10
- New WD Ring: Ring of Empitness - Deal 100% extra damage to enemies affected by Haunt and Locust
- More to come!
Schedule for Dev Talks at the Diablo Booth
There will be various short Developer Talks at the Slaughtered Calf Inn, here are the titles:
12:30 - Designing Better Goblins - Alex Sulman
1:30 - Diablo III Sound Laboratory - Seph Lawrence
2:30 - The Art of Iconic Items - Paul Warzecha
10:30 - Monster Design in Diablo III - Joe Shely
11:30 - Designing Greyhollow Island - Matthew Berger
12:30 - Storytelling in Diablo III: A New Approach - Brian Kindregan and Leonard Boyarsky
1:30 - Tribute to the Fallen - Derek Duke
2:30 - Buffing the Buff UI - Wyatt Cheng
3:30 - How the Ring of Royal Grandeur Changed Item Design in DIablo III - Travis Day
4:30 - 10 Items in 10 Minutes - John Yang
Overwatch Origins Edition Bonus for Diablo
The Overwatch Origins Edition will feature the Mercy Wings as an equippable cosmetic item in Diablo III.
Designing Better Goblins Talk
The first of the short Dev Talks deals with Treasure Goblins, read our notes on it here:
- Treasure Goblins have always looked differently, even when they did the same thing
- Alex Sulman thought about making them actually do different things though, so the different kinds of Goblins were born
- The Goblin noise was designed to cut through all other noises to make you aware of their existence
- The Malevolent Tormentor and Gelatinous Sire were made to change your gameplay around them, so that you can't just throw everything you have at them and one-shot them
- The Bandit Shrine was supposed to feel like an improved version of the Magic/Gold Find Shrine, since the latter was barely noticeable
- It will also get a new Visual with the upcoming 2.4 patch, so that you no longer click them by accident
- The more players are in the game, the more Goblins the Bandit Shrine will spawn
Diablo III Sound Laboratory
The second of the short Dev Talks is about how the sounds for Diablo III were designed:
- The team tried running a bulldozer over a car to try and get some great sounds for huge monsters, but that didn't sound good
- They ended up just having the bulldozer roll down the hill which provided a much better sound
- Trying to get sounds of crumbling pillars, they also rolled boulders down hills, or drop huge rocks off of cliffs
- For fire effects, they burned a huge pile of trees and bushes, but couldn't get close enough to record due to the heat
- However, they had their own fire truck and could record the sizzling sounds from putting the fire out again
- They often use food to make goo-ey sounds
- Bone breaking is sometimes done by breaking raw eggs or bundles of spaghettis
- The team uses a waterphone to create some of the creepy ambient sounds
- Squealing and squeaking sounds can be made using dry ice on warm-ish metal (Don't try this at home!)
The Art of Iconic Items
The last of the short Dev Talks for today deals with Diablo's item art.
- Three things to focus on: mood, gameplay, and appeal
- Items in the game world should feel like they were created by real people
- Skorn for example is a weapon made by Cultists and should look very different from El'druin, Tyrael's blade
- Items should have bold shapes but shouldn't look cartoony
- Details should accentuate the forms, not obliterate them
- People should get a sense of progressions when advancing to higher tears of gear
- This can be achieved by sheer scale of items, improved materials, or higher complexity
- However, progression clashes with variety since a clear progression line makes things seem rather similar
- Variety creates excitement
- Items should have a more and a less important part (70-30 rule)