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Diablo 3 Podcast #146: Patch 2.1, Story, and Blizzcon D3X2?

Lots on this show, including PTR Patch 2.1′s big changes, legendary item buffs, Paragon 1000 achieved, the Stash space emergency and micro-transactions, Diablo 3′s story and “demon soul hooks,” and Blizzcon 2014 Diablo 3 expansion announcement expectations. Featuring Flux, N3rdwords and Neinball.

Approximate topic starting times:

  • 2:30 — Paragon 1000 has been achieved. Does everyone have amazement?
  • 5:00 — Seasons and Patch 2.1 should go live simultaneously?
  • 11:00 — Legendary item buffs on the PTR. Looking forward to new items when 2.1 goes live, since Blizzard doesn’t hate the Monk (currently). Hydra build rules, but intentionally bugged on PTR?
  • 18:30 — Story implications of the Black Soulstone and why Diablo is free in Prime Evil form. Adria setting “demon soul hooks” is obviously a metcon, but is it parsimonious with the larger story/lore/plot? Both guests surprisingly say yes.
  • 27:00 — Is Diablo 3 + expansion packs self-contained? Will Diablo 4 be set a week later just continuing the same story? Or a totally new story, set centuries earlier or later?
  • 37:30 — Stash space insufficient = biggest problem in Diablo 3? One guest disagrees.
  • 40:00 — Most fans accept micro-transactions these days. Why isn’t Blizzard selling more stash tabs yet? Votes have shown most fans would accept this.
  • 47:30 — Diablo 3 expansion #2 announced at Blizzcon later this year? Everyone votes yes, though tentatively.
  • 52:00 — There are a lot of Blizzard games out and/or under development. Busiest days ever in Irvine?
  • 54:00 — Bonus secret trick to guarantee Greed’s Domain entrance?!?

  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in DiabloWiki.net provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated

    A fan assembled all six of the class-specific item sets in Reaper of Souls, took pics of them on each gender for each class, and provided views from all angles. It’s quite a useful presentation, and credit to Zeldrin for creating it.

    I found it interesting since I’d never actually seen the full sets so clearly. Everyone’s got a few or all of the items from each set, but usually mixed with other gear, some transmogged or vanishing dyed, etc. So here they are, unadulterated and straight from the D3 artist’s tablets to your screen. All the sets (except for Firebird’s, which adds a source) consist of six items: helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, and boots, so visually they are pretty much apples to apples comparisons. So here are Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated:

    Barbarian

    DiabloWikiLegacy Of Raekor (armory), Barbarian set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Crusader

    DiabloWikiArmor Of Akkhan (armory), Crusader set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Demon Hunter

    DiabloWikiEmbodiment of the Marauder (armory), Demon Hunter set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Monk

    DiabloWikiRaiment of a Thousand Storms (armory), Monk set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Witch Doctor

    DiabloWikiHelltooth Harness (armory), Witch Doctor set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots. (This set apparently lacks the light weight and flexibility of the huge slabs of unrefined steel that the other classes have strapped to their bodies, as both of these weary medical professionals are bent double beneath the weight of their assorted shark teeth, baboon femurs, and coconut shells.)


    Wizard

    DiabloWikiFirebird’s Finery (armory), Wizard set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, source, legs, boots. (Firebird’s has a seventh item, a Source, which is the only difference in the slots filled by these sets.)


    Diablo 3 “Gear Sets”

    This whole presentation reminds me of the hot (pre-game) topic of DiabloWikiGear Sets. We’ve got a big wiki article about them, and “Gear Sets” was a regular news category from 2010-2012, with 29 news items so categorized.

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    Diablo 3 Console Development Continues

    Posted 18 Aug 2011 by

    In a Q&A session at Gamescom, Diablo III designer Josh Mosqueira said they are “very, very serious” about bringing Diablo III to a console platform. They won’t say which one they’re developing for, though past job openings on the Diablo III team for PlayStation 3 specialists might be something of a hint. A quote from the Kotaku write-up.


    “Today, we’re trying to build the best console team at Blizzard,” Mosqueira said during a Q&A session. “We’re looking for programmers, designers and artists who think their dream job would be to bring Diablo to the console.”

    While neither announcing nor confirming Diablo III for a Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo console platform, Mosqueira promised “All I can say is it’s going to be awesome. Stay tuned.”

    It’s quite possible that the eventual console version of Diablo III will be great, but really… “dream job?” If your dream job is helping to water down Diablo III to make it playable on a much less powerful home gaming system without a proper keyboard or mouse…. you might want to have a word with your career counselor.


    In other Blizzard gaming news from the same Q&A, Blizzard has no current plans to develop a Starcraft MMO, since all their developers are working on other stuff.

    ‘If there was a development team within Blizzard that was free and available to create a StarCraft MMO and that was something they were really passionate about then we would certainly consider it…But right now…, we’ve got our hands full with everything we’re doing.’

    ‘We don’t really have any plans to do anything beyond the StarCraft RTSes and the expansions right now,’


    Finally, Blizzard wouldn’t comment on their newest trademark, “Mists of Pandaria.”

    “We don’t comment on rumours or speculation,” was the initial answer World of Warcraft lead designer Tom Chilton gave when Brian Crecente asked him about Mists of Pandaria, the strange trademark application that came to light earlier this month, leading many to believe it was the name of the next World of Warcraft expansion pack.

    Pandaria refers to the homeland of the Pandaren, anthropomorphic panda bears that have long been the subject of jokes between Blizzard and Warcraft fans. They appeared in Warcraft III and play a role in the World of Warcraft pen-and-paper RPG, but for the most part they’re naught but a legend in World of Warcraft proper, subject of tales of a hidden city locked away from the rest of Azeroth.


    Update: Surprising number of complaints about the console joke in comments. It’s funny writing news posts with opinions and jokes to make them more interesting than just straight quotes or fanboy praise; we never know quite what will set some people off. Everyone likes (or at least doesn’t dislike) 99% the conversation, and then there’s that one thing that for one person triggers /ragequit bookmark delete!

    We saw console versions of D2 and SC1, and “watered down” was far from the most unkind description that could have been applied. One hopes D3′s console version will be a big step up, but due to the technological limitations of current consoles, the ported versions of big PC games are watered down, and must be played without a proper mouse and keyboard. This may become less true in future generations of consoles, of course, but for now… it is what it is. See my reply in the comments if you want more debate about this silly issue.