Earlier this week Travis Day spoke on the same live stream that brought us that great Wyatt Cheng interview. The stream is run by ArchonTheWizard, and Travis joined him for nearly two hours of chat. Travis had a *lot* to say, answering dozens of questions, chiefly about the upcoming itemization changes, but also touching on skill issues, class balance, his development time working on World of Warcraft, and much more.
Many of us found Wyatt’s time on the stream frustrating since he was so into the nuts and bolts of specific issues, but the streamer never asked any redirects or follow ups on those detailed issues. Travis’ conversation doesn’t suffer (as much) from that problem, since he’s more thorough in his replies, but mostly since the interaction is more general. This isn’t a critique of either dev — it’s more about the topics that were covered. Travis speaks more about future (and past) changes on a theoretical or high level sense, whereas Wyatt’s was more about specific examples of ongoing skill tweaks and nuts-and-bolts game changes.
Here’s the stream; Travis joins in to chat around an hour and ten minutes in, and continues until almost three hours.
The transcript below is *not* word for word, since it was a very long conversation with a lot of chat and digression. I distilled Travis’ comments into more direct, discrete points. This is hugely long; nearly 8000 words to cover the 110 minutes Travis spent chatting. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, I broke the blue quote format in a few places to put in a remark or two after the especially interesting revelations, so you can kind of skim down the page and check where there’s a comment if you want the really highlight points.
Will elemental effects do something again?
Travis: Yes, we’d like them to do things again at some point. That was a very cool thing in D2. It’s nice if they have effects, more than just cold slows things. But no concrete details at this point.
Can you tell us about itemization?
Travis: I’ve been been working on Diablo III for eight or ten months, and I worked on World of Warcraft before that. In terms of Diablo 3 items, I really value randomization on the items. I like the fun of not knowing what you’re going to get. That said, there’s definitely room for improvement.
Legendaries should be more game changing. There’s something to be said for having a Holy Grail of items that players strive to obtain. The very best possible gear. Just yesterday we were talking about just how crazy we could get with legendaries or sets. What are the bounds? How powerful can something be without breaking the game?
Extreme #1, anything that makes the player invincible forever and always. Obviously that would be too good. But there’s something to be said for gear that can be super awesome, but is a really big challenge to obtain. Like D2′s runewords, some of them had 6 runes and almost every rune was really hard to find. When we’re debating item qualities, I say that we don’t need to make everything bland just because players might get it someday. Diablo 3 is an ARPG, it’s supposed to be awesome.
We also talk about game-changing gear. Like for instance, what if a full item set granted a bonus of infinite resource? That sounds crazy, but maybe it could be there someday. We’ve also talked about an item that would grant no collision with monsters. That’s something we’re not really sure how useful it would be, but we like the idea of throwing in some interesting properties and letting players figure out ways to use it.
Click through for the rest of the transcript. It’s hugely long and full of good details. Here’s a *very* brief bullet point list of what I think are the key points:
Click through for the whole huge thing.