Hey guys, those of you who went to SCW/starcraft.incgamers.com before probably know me as a contributor and news maker, but for those who don't know me, I'm a big fan of Blizzard games and lucky enough to be the interpreter for this interview. I know a lot of the English fans are eager to get some news from this interview, and I don't want you to get misleading info by the translation from English to Chinese, then to English again. I will try to add more info everyday if I can, but I don't have much time recently due to the fact that I need to catch up on my work and study. Anyway....I had delayed the real content of this post long enough. Here is the interview script.
1. Based what we know, your first class in Diablo2 is Barbarian, but your favorite character is Necromancer. Barbarian is still a playable character in Diablo3, so do you think Necromancer will return in the D3 expansion? Like as a class to choose or as an NPC.
Jay: Well, Necromancer actually already appear in D3 to some capacity. We have some NPC characters who are necromancers who appear in the game. As far as a group in the universe, I'm sure we are going to continue to use them. As a playable class, it kind of depends on what the community wants and what the team wants. When we created all the classes for D3, we did most of those decisions essentially in secret before the project was actually announced, but we really want to see how the game plays and how people respond to it and what they miss, what they wish was there and we will make our decisions base of those feed backs from the community always a focus for us whenever we make decisions when we can.
2. As we know, mercenary is a very important part of Diablo2. It is very hard to imagine D3 with no such system. Is there anything that you can share with us about the mercenaries? What kind of improvement has been done for them from D2?
Jay: We haven't announced anything about whether we will do a mercenary system or not, and we are not talking about that feature at this time. Probably just leave with that...
3. When we reach level 60, other than the daily Magic Find run and arenas, what other thing we can do in Diablo? What's your sugguestion.
Jay: We have plans for endgame, most of it are things we haven't announced. Pretty much all of it are things we haven't announced. We have talked a little about changes we have made to the leveling curve. We want people to reach max level and have max level be viable play space which wasn't really in Diablo2. Once they reach max level, we definitely want to make sure that there is content they can play that expands the breath of the game. In Diablo2, the most optimal way to play was to do find the quickest boss you can do, and repeat that boss run forever. It's our intent to create a system that encourage people to play a lot more varied amount of content, and have that be the most beneficial way to play, such that the boss runs are really mitigated as a primary things that people do and become more secondary.
4. Is there any requirement to enter the arena? Like to reach a certain level or any other requirement?
Jay: We actually haven't make that call yet. It's very likely that will be, what are finding is that arenas out side of max level tended be highly imbalanced, in ways we can't readily fix. But even if there is a requirement for match-made arenas, we probably still allow people to play custom arena games that don't count against their ratings, and those we likely wouldn't put nearing as many restrictions. So, people just want to see what their level 20 characters can do in arenas against other characters, even against higher levels. We will probably allow that, but wouldn't make it official game. The official game, we will structure it a little more. How much so? It reminds to be seen.
5. What’s the future plan for arena? Is it only a place for people to do pvp or it will have special ladder or official tournaments.
Jay: We haven't really thought much beyond supporting it as a way for people kind of test their characters and build and try against one other. We don't have formal plans to do big tournaments. If people want tournaments, certainly we can support that. It's not our intend to turn it into an E-sport. It's not going to be balanced to the level that we consider acceptable for an E-sport. That's kinda of the appeal of it..is that you can create a crazy character who are...essentially imbalanced...and you could create crazy characters that you could counter those imbalances with their own imbalances. There are so many variable that how characters can be built. We goals was never been to make a super competitive hardcore E-sport. It's always been...say...people want to see what they can do with their characters. Once they get high level gear and builds, so let's create an easy form for them to do that.
6. Is there anything you can share with us about battle.net2.0 for D3? any new feature that you think is exciting?that sc2 doesn't have?
Most focus for battle.net for D3 is around taking a lot of the features that we already have and adapting it to our own unique nature of Diablo. So...cooperative match making, is a big function, while there is a aspect of that in Starcraft 2, it's vastly different. Diablo3 is a little more dynamic, people can come into game and leave dynamicly, and there is no lobby system per se. There is no reason that when you start searching for a game, you can't just be immiately to be put in a game, and have to search in the background and continue to go. So, a lot of features focus around taking these thing and adapting. Messaging system, so you can open games up to other players. We have a system called "Arms", where we essentially broadcast the fact that you can broadcast to other people that you want them to come and join your game. So, there is a lot of features like that we focus on. Achievements are essentially a system that we are very happy with. We will continue to focus on content improvement. So, we are more focused on "let's make better quality achievements", that are more fun to get, that are better motivators for players, and less focused on....there is not a lot of hug features we want to add there. We mostly want to iterate the quality of that feature set. There are others things we are planning, but they are not announced yet.
7. Many people have question about the diablo imagine in the poster for Blizzcon 2011. Is it really Diablo? Is he is Diablo, how would he be introduced into the game? Will he still be the final boss for Diablo3?
Jay: Well, if I answer those questions then it kind spoils the story, don't I? We have this conundrum early on from a stand point of....should you have a game call Diablo without Diablo in it. We can wax philosophical about that, whether we should or shouldn't, but what it comes done to is...we had a storyline in mind. Even back...That's been going back quite a ways. So, without revealing that, I can say that....there's been a plan. If the play think they outsmarted forces of hell and evil and they basically won, well, they are in for a big shack. Cause really what they are going to discover in Diablo3 is things pretty much gone exactly the way hell wanted to all along.
8. This question is about item or gear binding. In Diablo3, if you are in a group, if something drops, only the person who is assigned to that item can see it or pick it up. We’ve heard a little bit about gear binding in D3. Could you tell us what the rules for gear binding are? Is there any difference to gear binding in WoW?
Jay: I'm happy to announce that we recently decided there will be no binding of items. They will be freely traded for the life of the item. The only way we are going to do any kind of binding would be for things that are not progression sensitive. Like we might say...a quest item. We don't want you to be able to give to other player to short circuit a quest, but if you find a sword, piece of armor, or gem....anything that you find in the ground, once you pick it up, you can freely trade it...forever.
Jay: I would add that....I've always said we would prefer not to do binding, but we never actually come down and said.......so this is the first time we've actually being able to tell anyone....No! We are not doing it! Cause we've finally made our decision. Exclusive!
9. This question is about Legendary item. That's the name for unique item in Diablo 3, as we know it basically replaced the unique item. Other than the name different. Is there any improvement or general attributes that has changed?
Jay: Not significantly. Certainly attributes are handled differently in Diablo 3 than D2, but not necessarily as how they relate to legendary items. Mostly we changed the name because we felt like unique was not cool enough....*laugh*...we felt legendary was way cooler name for them, but they fill the same roll which is to provide kind of predictable source of power and some known quantity items for player to seek. We have try to balance them, such that they are very build specific, so if you are trying to make....say....really good berserker barbarian, there might be a weapon is legendary that's specially designed for that. But in general, we don't want players to just use legendaries, we want them to use wide variety of legendearies, sets and rare items.
10. In the game, are there any choice for players to make that will affect the later part of the game? Like a split story lines in SC2, but with a fixed ending.
Jay: No, because of the dynamic nature of the game, the fact that the game is cooperative, those things are really fight against a multiple story line. Because if you got other people who are in the same game, what if they made a different choice than you, and can not see their options? So we've tried to keep everyone on the same track, mostly to support cooperative, cooperative is one of our primary focus, so we want to make sure not to do any feature in the game that can't play into cooperative in some way.
11. Is there any daily quest in WoW when you reach a certain level, like you can play everyday for the loot.
Jay: It kind gets back into what's our end-game, cause daily quest is kind of wow's end-game content. As we mentioned earlier, we have plan for it, but we haven't announced it yet.
12.According to screenshots in different stage of dvelopment, we see UI keeps changing. We didn't see much change in the latest version of Diablo3, which is on G-star. The question is...will we see some changes in Blizzcon 2011? or the latest version you see.
Jay: Most of the changes will be visible in UI are....cosmetic. Maybe they are so small and most people don't notice them. We have probably the biggest change is alternate button on the right mouse button. That smaller icon that we put near ....we've pulled that off on bottom bar, but the feature still exist, but most people who played the game who started just kind felt confusing, so we pulled it off. Other than that, I would say no, nothing significant, I'm sure there is a screen or two that we redesigned. We certainly done some cosmetic changes, mostly to make the UI consistent. We developed a lot of UI over years and years, and what we found in recent review is that there is a lot of inconsistency. Cause...oh...we made that part two years ago, and we made this part two weeks ago, oh, they don't look the same. We approached it slightly differently, so we need to make them consistent. But, there is no big, functional changes.
So, basically the design of the UI is settled? It's not going to change too much?
Jay: It's fairly settled at this point.
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That's me and Jay Wilson after the interview.