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More Diablo 3 Developer Interviews

Posted 18 Jul 2013 by

As we reported from the Diablo 3 Fansite Summit last month, the Diablo 3 devs were planning to submit themselves to an increasing number of interviews to give us something to talk about and think about over the summer. I’m sure you guys saw our interview posted earlier this week, and if you want more, here they are.

The first is a text only interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day, and Kevin Martens. It actually went up a few weeks ago, but we missed posting it at the time, so here it is now. (I blame the fact that it was posted on my birthday when I was very drunk otherwise occupied, and out of town visiting relatives.) The interview can be seen on Diablo Somepage and it’s got some good info, plus an almost farcical number of, “we’ve talked about that but can’t give you any details yet” type answers. One quote:

Diablo Somepage: There had been some talk about making the end Act bosses more interesting. I guess it comes down to the balance of the elites versus the bosses, what do you want people to be really striving to go for? Is that something you’re interested in doing, and if so would short-term smaller fixes, like letting them give a Nephalem Valor stack, or provide a big chunk of experience if you kill them with 5 stacks — would those be the sort of things that might be considered?
Kevin Martens: Right, so a couple of notes on bosses. Why you fight bosses versus why you fight elites, has sort of a different balance than previous Diablo games did. Bosses aren’t so much about the challenge in D3 vanilla, as they are about the celebration or the story moment that you have defeated another Lord of Hell. That is different than other games, certainly other games we make right now and other games we’ve made in the past. That’s sort of deliberate; whereas the challenge generally comes in with the elite monsters, which are intended to often be harder than the bosses. That said, every time we make something as heavily scripted as some of the boss fights are, we always think of better versions after we ship, and we always love to go back and fix some of that content. That’s not a super necessarily high-priority thing to do.

When you get your hands on the console game, you’ll find that improvements have been made to some of the boss fights; some of those could possibly be rolled back into the PC version in the future. And certainly new bosses that we make in the future, we’re going to try to learn from what we did with those ones, and make them better. I don’t think we’ll do any like quick, short-term things, in a patch to just give them a stack of Nephalem Valor or something like that. You’re not rewarded in such a way to require you to go kill them very often anyway, it is still better to kill the elites and rares as per my earlier philosophy statement. But yes, they could be better.

Elsewhere, an interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day and Wyatt Cheng was posted on Diablo Fans yesterday. I assume it was conducted over the phone or skype just like ours was, but there’s no audio, so just read the transcript. It’s a straight Q&A that got an unfortunate number the “we’ve talked about that” type replies, but this bit about Paragon Levels caught my eye:

DF: A thing that Travis mentioned once – adding efficiency to the Paragon system. Have there been any talks on what those additions can be?
Travis Day: Yeah, the Paragon system was spectacular for what it was trying to accomplish. Sometimes random can be a cruel mistress and the paragon system’s primary intent was to allow you to feel like you’re acquiring progression and even if you’re not getting too lucky with your item drops. We want to take that and expand upon it even more.

We’ve definitely talked about things like taking Paragon and decoupling it from your character specifically and making it something that is more account-over working. So that any time you invest in the game is rewarded and you don’t feel like we’re taking anything away from you if you want to try new characters or try out different play styles within the game. That’s something we’ve looked into a lot.

Also, maybe potentially adding some sort of customization within the paragon system. Sort of in the vein of a throwback at a Diablo II start location. We’ve looked at things like that. We definitely have plans to flesh it our more in time. We don’t need to design it from the ground up. What it does, it does well, and we just need to make it more encompassing.

They’ve mentioned shared DiabloWikiParagon level bonuses before, and with several mentions I’m thinking it’s more like “coming in D3X” than “on the drawing board.” I’m not at all sure I like that idea, though obviously it depends on how they implement it. Later for that debate though. (Literally. I’ll post an article for debate and a vote, once I’ve given it some more thought.)

More generally, it’s nice to see all the new dev interviews of late, huh? There was another one with a streamer last week, if you missed it. It would be even better if they could actually give us some hot new info, but looks like we’ll have to wait until Blizzcon for that. (Which is why I went more for conversation and discussion than just a straight Q&A in the podcast, since I didn’t want to just get a bunch of those rehearsed-sounding “we’ve talked about” type replies you guys are always (justifiably, IMHO) complaining about.