I have played D3 its in entirety, including the current build.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Everything in this blog is the opinion of the poster, and may be entirely fictional.
Wink wink. I think I have an eye twitch.
Ask any question about Diablo 3 below by clicking on “comments” at the bottom of the post, and I will do my best to answer it. Your question will appear on the main post when I answer it.
- Don’t ask how I know, who I know, how much I know. None of your business.
- Don’t ask sweeping questions like “WHAT ARE ALL THE NEW FEATURES!!?” or “Explain how the entire item system works”. Ask specific questions only. This isn’t an article, and I don’t plan on writing an article.
- I will answer SOME questions about the storyline, but don’t ask for any significant story spoilers. I’m not in the business of spoiling the game.
- Don’t ask for Screenshots, videos or any other media. Don’t assume I can, or would want to simply walk in with a USB stick and start snapping up screenshots.
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Q: Joe: Is there an auction house? If so, could you summarize how it works??
A: Kind of a sweeping question, but I’ll answer it.
No. The “auction house” is called the “market”. I am unsure if the name is a placeholder. It functions differently to the WoW auction house. To access the market, you need to use the AMM (automated match-making) screen and select the “market”. This automatically queues you (like War3 and SC2 AMM) and loads you into a game world that looks like a small “town-like” area with markets around. There are around 50 players in each market game (i think).The AMM matches you up with people who have similar quality/level items as you, though you can specify which item ranges you want to trade for.
There are no monsters or anything else in this game, only other players and NPC’s. To “display” your items, you click on the NPC and place your items into an inventory. You can close it after your done and the items stay there, even persist into other games. On the other side of the screen, you can browse everyone’s items who are in your game. Its fully catagorized, very much like in WoW. If your interested in an item you can offer them gold or even select an item(s) you have on display and offer them that, or a combination. This sends a notification to the other player that you placed an offer. They can accept this, or more often they can choose to “negotiate”, this starts a one-on-one dialogue with the buyer and seller, and they negotiate the items just like in D2. This only applies to armor and weapons, gems, consumables and other items are not displayable. Though I have heard they are implementing something for those, possibly a wow-style auction-house in-game.
They have not yet implemented the feature to allow you to put your items directly in from Bnet, but its coming apparently.
Q: Is all the trade face to face like d2? What happens when a player leaves the game, do there items stay listed??
A: Its a combination of both. You use the NPC trade window to browse items and when you find the item you want it matches you up with the buyer. If a player leaves the game, their items are removed from the browsing list. They can join another trade game and their items will automatically be on display.
Q: if ur about to die can you leave the game like you can in diablo 2?
A: Nope. Currently if your in trouble you need to run away to the nearest waypoint (there are HEAPS) and restore your health. By default, you get full life automatically if you spend more than 15 seconds in town.
Q: Won’t it be annoying if there are 50 players in the game and 30 of them are AFK? How does it work if you’re trying to get an item and the seller is AFK?
A: The trade games have a very fast AFK timeouts. I think its around 4 minutes. Moving the mouse clears AFK, so its not that bad. Also, if you timeout of a trade game, you can’t use AMM to join another trade game for 5 minutes. (punishment to stop doing it I guess).
Q: how rare are ujniques? like compared to diablo2
A: In the 2 months I’ve played, there has been 2 Legendary’s (uniques) drop for me and around 20 rares.
Q: whats in act 4??
A: Not posting spoilers. But I will say its unlike the other acts in many ways.
Q: Does the Market carry your items (like the stash) or do you still have to have inventory space to hold them?
A: Once you place your items in the market window via the NPC located in a trade game, they stay there until you take them out. So yes, it can act like a “mini” stash.
Q: Are runes in the current build? Can you describe a few of the nifty ones?
A: Yeah, every ability is available and nearly every rune works with them. (except for a few late wd, dh and monk abilities.)
Some cool ones… I play Wizard so: Indigo in Slow time actually reverses time by a few moments (yes, it undoes the damage you took, but not the damage you inflict), Crimson in Diamond Skin literally turns you into fire and allows you to literally run into a group of mobs, and leaves a trail of fire behind you (like Blaze from D2) and cause massive fire damage (you ignore collision so you can literally run into the middle of a huge pack, and then explode for even more damage. You can’t be hit while its up. There’s a lot of other really cool ones, I might share them later.
Q: what colour are legendary items?
A: Orange. Gold tinge to them in the latest build.
Q: Are town portals still in the game or are those completly pushed away from the game by waypoints?
A: They are currently in the game, but only allow you to enter them when there are no monsters within a certain range of you. Like half a screen length away.
Q: When there is a beta?
A: Its already in Beta. Just not open to the public yet. The devs don’t even know when, but its expected to be August.
Q: do you think D3 is ready for 2011 release? Do you think it will make it this year? Also, is D3 really fun?
A: Its amazing how polished the game already is. I think it can make release this year, which is the plan. Battle.net is getting the most work at the moment. It is easily the best game I’ve played to date. Especially when the Bnet features are fully implemented.
Q: How big is act 4? Is it smaller then the other acts like in D2?
A: Its significantly smaller than the other acts. Smaller than the D2 acts 1-3. They actually don’t have the main quests in there at the moment. They are ready, but they are hidden.
Q: How is match-making done in PvP? Just by character level or is there more to it?
A: Only level at the moment. Though I’m 95% sure this will change when they do more work on Bnet (it has a lot of stuff that is not fully implemented.)
Q: Why there will be no D3 on GamesCom? Because beta will be already online?
A: No idea, sorry.
Q:Why didn’t they just do a normal auction house? Does the market work well?
A: MANY reasons:
- Auction House doesn’t feel very Diablo-ish, and simply doesn’t work for a game where 95% of the items have random stats.
– It initially WAS an Auction House, and it just didn’t work. It did funny things with the economy, you’d have an item on there that had certain stats, and then some other guy would unknowingly post a similar item (remember, the items are mostly random) for a totally different price. The non-static nature of items made it unusable. The market system allows you to browse items for yourself, feels more personal and is far more of the “Diablo feel”, rather than stare at literally thousands random variations of an item.
- It feels kind of retarded simply typing in the name of an item you want, and then simply buying it.
The market system works very well. You simply AMM into a trade game, browse the items, and if nothing suits you, you do another AMM search. It automatically cycles you through the other trade games when you click on it again within a few minutes. Its actually VERY fun to shop around.
Q: can you tell us anything about end-game content? Will it be mainly grinding and arena or do you have something like endless dungeons?
A: Bosses are very different. They only recently started working properly. I don’t want to spoil it, but they are unlike D2 bosses. As for the real end-game (aka act 4 hell difficulty), its actually not available yet. So at the moment, the end-game hard to talk about. There are some new AWESOME things that I don’t want to reveal out of courtesy to Blizzard.
Q: How much play time will a casual player need to complete Normal?
A: Depends how casual I guess. Around the same as D2, but imagine your character can actually spend points on being awesome rather than saving for the high-end abilities. You are pretty OP in normal.
Q: Can you tell me if there is any merit or advantage to playing with a mixed 4 player party instead of a party with all barbarians?
A: To be quite honest it doesn’t matter what your group consists off. Barbs/monks are a small exception because they can attract monsters away from the ranged classes, which significantly increases their damage. But I’ve played with 4 wizards and it was just as fun/effective.
Q: Are the classes balanced more or less?
A: Numbers are literally changing weekly. So yes and no. Hard to say since there is so much variety to play with.
Q: In the time you have played, have you discovered multiple character builds that are superior to others?
A: Definitely. But as I said above, the numbers change CONSTANTLY. Especially in the last few months.
Q: Ifso are those diverse or is there just a single “godly” build per character?
A: Too many combo’s to know for sure. And even with that said, no, because the monsters are very different in each area. What might be a great build somewhere might suck big time in others.
Q: SInce you explained the market system, can you say if gold has succeeded in being the main form of currency?
A: Impossible to say, because we are testing. We can get any items we request as its a debug build, so the economy doesn’t exist in a realistic fashion. Though in the last wipe, items are no longer available at will, and we are encouraged to use the economy/markets (now that they work for the most part).
Q: Is the average playtime of completing normal shorter, equal or longer than D2 normal?
A: The pace is faster, but there is more to do. Hard to say to be honest.
Q: How diverse are the items that drop? affix/prefix wise ofcourse)
A: D2 diverse.
Q: You claimed you found 2 legendaries and about 20 rares, how much of them were useful?
A: As said above, the economy is non-existent. However, I equipped like 5-8 of the rares. The Legendaries I found were a Crossbow and an Axe.
Q: Also, you were probably exploring the game instead of focussing on getting good gear, if one were to focus on getting items primarily, how much better would they have done than you?
A: Items are very powerful and enhance your character, it helps a lot to have good gear. You can kill things a lot quicker.
Q: That new to us to wait on BlizzCon 2011?
A: Unsure what they are revealing, but I’m sure the Beta will be available to the public by then, so not much.
Q: About two months ago, there was a supposed ‘leak’ from someone claiming to be an internal game tester. Can you tell us if the information provided in that interview is true or false?
A: I actually read it back then. It was false.
Q: Are there any unique/set/runeword items from D2 that have their item names re-used in D3, ifso: are they similar to the D2 versions?
A: No runewords in D3, and sets are legendaries that can be put together to get a bonus. There are some items that you’ll remember from D2. Different stats, but still familiar stats.
Q: Short q from me : How would you classify the overall size of the acts, together? dissapointing/medium/huge ?
A: There’s a bit more to it than “size”. For example, the actual “terrain” size is similar to D2, but the pacing and quests, and events etc are different. It’s faster paced, but the side quests take up some time (slow you down). So to answer your question, the game is “bigger” in length.
Q: Does auto stats allocation really work better than the D2 system?
How much room for customization is there concerning stats. e.g. Can i make a battle mage for a wizard or are barbs the only ones that can equip heavy armor and be awesome and big? How about defensive builds, damage reduction builds, etcetc.. is this all possible?
A: You have PLENTY of customization. However is different to D2, it’s more about what skills and what runes you WANT to use. *EDIT* misunderstood the question, there is no such thing as “heavy armor, light armor” etc. Wizards don’t have heavy armor compared to a melee class, which have traits and passives that increase how much armor helps you, however you can invest your skills into more defensive spells and runes, such as full points into Teleport with Alabaster rune (Wizard teleports but leaves behind a mirror image that the monsters continue to attack). And there are plenty of them. In other words, there is a HUGE defensive difference between wizard A who invested in defensive spells, and Wizard B who pumped all their points into Hydra, Meteor and Disintegrate.
Q: You mentioned the numbers were being changed constantly, but does there feel like a balance between the classes, both from what you have witnessed pvm and from what you can speculate pvp?
A: They are similar in that they ALL have a few spells that need adjusting because they are probably too much better than the others. But all classes have these, so I guess they are balanced :P . PvP is getting much more focus later on in testing, I don’t think its a testing focus at the moment.
Q: Follow-up, will all the suspense all these years have been worth it? = D
A: I don’t think its possible for a Diablo fan to not love this game. The amount of awesomeness is immeasurable.
Q: Thanks for answering my question about runes. I have another: Can you go in to how bosses are different now, particularly while solo compared to D2?
A: To be honest I don’t want to ruin any surprises that Blizzard has instore for you, and I think this is one of the big ones. So I’ll only say that the bosses are “of epic proportions”.
Q: In D2, you practically just run up, swing/cast, avoid particular spells if possible, and then collect loot. The Siegebreaker Assault Beast encounter was pretty vague in this regard and was most likely scripted to a degree.
A: They are on a different level to the Siegebreaker in terms of “epicness”. He is just a sub-boss. They are epic. If I was to rate most important unrevealed features, that would be among the top.
Q: How about gear-dependance? Is there a class (like Sorceress in D2) that is more gear independent that the others (like melee classes in D2)? If not, how did Blizzard solve this problem?
A: Casters have +spelldamage% rather than +to skills. Gear is important. I would say they tried extra hard to make all gear very important for all classes.
Q: Is there more to end game than just PvP and item grinding/trading ? Without getting into any spoilers.
A: Yes. As a minor example, the market is the type of place you would find yourself spending hours in. In a good way.
Q: Does the wizard spell disintegrate still turn pink, when focused on a target in the current version?
A: I can’t say that I noticed it turning pink. I don’t have points in it so I don’t see it super often.
Q: Do bows/crossbows still need ammo?
Q: Can you tell us about any interesting Traits? Are there any changes to them since we last heard of them?
A: They still function much the same as previously mentioned (though I don’t recall what exactly was mentioned). They are still pretty big bonuses to abilities. In terms of coolness, they aren’t as “epic” as runes, but their bonuses are very big.
Q: How did you experience the automatic stat point allocation? And in relation to that. Is it possible, through gear and gems to make your character focus primarily on a single stat, like I stated earlier: Damage Reduction, Defense, Vitality, Crit, Damage etc..
A: If it wasn’t auto, it would be silly, because everyone would get the same thing. It’s a good system. Gems at the moment are a bit up in the air. At it stands, they add stats (so yes, you can focus on particular stats). Some add more interesting things, such as +lightening damage, resistances etc.
Q: Can hardcore characters trade items and gems with softcore characters, or they remain on separate realms like it was on d2?
A: We can’t actually make hardcore characters. But they will be in the game.
Q: Whats been your favorite class so far?
A: Wizard. I like lights and stuff.
Q: My main question deals with the Monk – does he have a similar ability to Teleport and is it awesome?
A: Seven Sided Strike. The catch is it requires a mob to be targeted. The good news is, it will demolish the enemy. Unsure if they will add another more escape-ee ability.
Q: Do you realize that any class can equip any type of armor? So the part where you said that the wizard can’t equip heavy armor is false. Moreover there is player collision for enemies, so there you go wrong again…
A: Of course there is collision. If you read what I said properly, you would’ve noticed I was referring to the Diamond Skin runed ability. And no, not all classes can use all types of armor. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Q: How does Magic Find work with gems and are their other stats that can help you find stuff? Also, does MF drop on gear?
A: Haven’t seen any items with MF on them yet, but items are still being worked on heavily. One of the primary things right now actually.
Q: does unique items look different than the normal verisons?(both item icons and on character ingame)
A: Yes. Though there’s a few placeholders at the moment.
Q: What types of armor exist if classes have access to different types?
A: Sorry, I misunderstood the question above that referred to this. There is only one armor, no armor classes. Most classes have traits and passives that increases the effects of your armor. For example one of the barb traits increases your Vitality by a % of your armor.
Q: Is there a Secret Cow Level or something similar?
A: There is no cow level. /wink
Q: lol I like how you didn’t tell us ANYTHING we didn’t already know about traits. That info came straight from Blizzard. Who do you think you’re fooling?
A: What would you like to know, genius?
How can you not mention the saphires from the last BlizzCon? Did you somehow forget about them?
A: Haven’t seen any items with MF on them yet, but items are still being worked on heavily. One of the primary things right now actually.
A: Haven’t noticed it before. I’ll check next time to see if it still does it.
Q: What’s the new mechanic they have that lets the player sell items while out in the field?
A: Dropping items, or shift clicking them near a waypoint or town-portal automatically sends your items to the town NPC’s. Later on when your back in town, you click on any of them to view what you’ve sent (shows up in the buyback tab) and confirm the sell. You can undo an item by dragging the item back from the vendors inventory back to yours. There is talk about changing this, or removing it all together.
Q:what about special deaths? every monsters got a special death on top of the ragdoll and critical deaths?
A: Not sure I understand your question. Every monster has a bunch of death animations, some have special static ones. Critical hits/deaths make the screen shake harder and the enemies fly off the screen, or explode in epic piles of blood.
Q: Is health globe mecanic fits in to the game good or it’s too arcade’ish?
A: Best way to sum up health globes is pretend they are potions that drop at the rate they anticipate you to be needing a top up at. It works well. If there are times when you have little health and you don’t have one handy it basically means you took too much damage from that encounter, or ate one up before you should have. There is a mechanic that automatically puts you at 30% health if your near death and away from combat for a few secs.
Q: What achievements existed in your current build? Were there more / less than SC2? Can you go into any detail about…. intresting achievments?
A: There are many achievements, but a lot look like tests that won’t make it into the game. My favorite is “Grats, I wonder how many SoJ’s that is worth” when you find your first legendary.
Q: You mentioned that you were surprised at how polished the game was, but you also said weapons are primarily being worked on and numbers are still changing for balance. In your point of view how long do you think beta will be? and WHEN do YOU think the game will be released?
A: The game is very polished in the respect of the actual environments, pace, gameplay, and fun level. The numbers game is constant, and will continue up until release I’d imagine. In my opinion, the game is on its way to making it this year.
Q: How is it you only found 20 rares in 2 months. I found 2 in 15 minutes at blizzcon.
A: The demo versions are purposely “enhanced” so that people can find good loot in a short period of time. Otherwise you’d be running in rags for all your playtime.
Q: How many times could an artisan level up? About how much gold was required?
A: Artisans can level up to 5 at the moment. I am unsure how gold, as we typically get free gold to dump during test pushes. But as a general figure, its pretty expensive. Not so much in what it costs you in actual gold, but in how much items you have to salvage instead of selling for gold. Some ingredients such as Grim Essence can only be salvaged out of high level rares. So its hard to put a monetary value on it, since that rare may have sold for a lot of cash in the market place.
Q: How about Hell mode, is it harder compared to Diablo 2? And how many times did you die?
A: Hell mode is challanging. Some of the monsters run faster, have abilities that don’t exist in normal/nightmare such as blind (you literally can only see a few feet in any direction, and it can turn very ugly). However, its very satisfying when you use good skills to get out of rough situations. For example the other day I found myself cornered against the wall against some scary Bone Destroyers (they pushed me using their charge abilities). I used my runed Diamond Skin ability (the rune turns you into fire) and ran through them to safety. They proceeded to get burnt following my trail.
Q: Are there parts of the game that are REALLY hard
A: Yes. Hell. (some dungeons are very scary)
Q: Is crafting a fun element? How exactly does disassembling items feel ? Is it rewarding sometimes?
A: Like everything, it has a random element to it, which is fun. You can get lucky and find rare essences that are key ingredients to some good crafted stuff. Feels good.
Q: How does farming go? Will we do bossruns or will we do random side-quests?
A: Both, the end-game is under heavy iteration atm. Item’s are being finalised.
Q: Is there anything interesting to mention about the battle.net UI? Do our character models appear in chat like in D2 or just our display name?
A: I can happily report that D3 bnet has chat channels. At the moment there is no structure in there, its a bit like SC2 (ie your invisible). There is a button that says “channels” but it doesn’t do anything. The most interesting part is the AMM system, which at the moment looks pretty much like you would expect. You tick some boxes on what kind of game your looking for and press search. A few seconds later a game is loading. Other than that, Bnet is still quite primitive. Its clear it is under heavy construction by all the buttons that don’t do anything.
Q: Is there dual spec in the game?
A: No. And I’m pretty sure there won’t be. When you play the game, you’ll understand better at why its not needed.
[B]Q: You said there is no heavy/light armor. Does this mean there is only 1 type of armor? Or is there still: Breast Plate, Ancient Armor, Templar Coat: each having higher defense point values then the other.
Regarding the Wizard question. Could a Wizard equip the highest defense point armor? Am I correct to assume that there is also no speed reduction from wearing a higher defense point armor type?
A: Armors are hard to explain, but I’ll try. There are still “types” of armor, ie Ornate, Quilted etc. The more progressed in the game, the better the armors are, for example, ornate is one of the highest ones in Nightmare, quilted is found in act 1 normal. Everyone can equip the best armor, but depending on its stats you may not want do. At the moment there is no penalty to wearing “heavier” armor, it is simply just better (in terms of ARMOR not stats) and they are found at higher levels.
Q: I would like to know a few rune effects on wizard skills. How does runes effect Magic Missile, Spectral Blade, Arcane Orb, Disintegrate or any other skills… Anything you can tell is great.
A: Not going to list every possibility because I don’t have them on-hand but some off the top of my head…
- disintegrate crimson leaves a trail of fire but you can’t hold it down anymore (becomes like firewall in D2)
- Disintegrate indigo turns it into a cone shaped attack but becomes short range (really powerful AOE).
- I can’t remember which rune, but one turns Meteor into a meteor shower, which drops small comets randomly all over the place.
- Crimson turns Arcane Orb into Frozen Orb from D2. (slowing effect, shoots cycles everywhere etc)
Q: Can you post screenshots of _______?
A: There is absolutely no way I could, nor would post screenshots of anything. Stop assuming I can simply walk in with a USB stick and start snapping up screenshots.
Q: Well, supposedly, you’ve been playing for at least 2 months now. In all that time you’re gonna tell me you didn’t mess with the traits enough to remember a bunch off the top of your head? give us some examples.
Also, how different did the Legendary’s look from normal/rares? do they truly look Legendary? Some people have been saying that Legendary’s won’t have their own unique graphics.
A: Read above, I mentioned some traits. But if you insist…. (and I’m paraphrasing)
– Arcane Might - Arcane spells knock back enemies when you have 25% or lessArcane Power.
– Telekinesis – improves chance to dodge ranged attacks & spells
– Penetrating Spells(?) (or cold?) – Reduces targets resistance to your spells.
The item system is currently being focused on, lower level legendary’s have unique graphics. Higher level ones appear to have placeholder graphics, or no graphic at all.
Q: How do the item tiers work exactly? For example, Can you find a tier one hat in act 4 hell with godly stats, Or tier one only drops in early normal and item tiers get higher with difficulty?
A: Depends on what you mean by Tiers. If I’m right about what I think your saying, than its exactly like how it is in D2, normal items can drop in hell, all qualities (rare, legendary etc) Though you must remember that the item system is still being worked on, very heavily. Its the main focus at the moment.
Q: How does death work? Do you spawn from a random location or back with your party? Are there any disadvantages of dieing? Do you have a body on the ground?
A: Currently, when you die, you re spawn after a few moments with all your items and no corpse, at the nearest Waypoint. There is durability now, and you lose something like 20% if you die. I could be wrong about the % (its new)
Q:do you have any evidence that would prove your information is true?
Also, what parts of game will be in beta version? I guess act1 and arenas, anything else?
A: No, nor will I try.
I have no idea what they are planning on giving you for the Beta, but we have everything that’s ready, apart from Act4 ending quests/bosses.
Q: What can you say about inventory management ? More specifically, we know there is some kind of way to sell stuff out in the field without the need to return to town. How does that work ? Does it feel right ?
A: Inventory is much better than in D2, its easier to manage and less frustrating. As for the selling stuff in the field, I answered that above, and it feels OK, but I think it could be improved, and I think they will. Portals, and selling stuff in the field is a bit up in the air at the moment.
Q: What is your favourite skill out of all the classes? And what is your favourite runed version of that skill?
A: My favorite RUNE effect is the Reverse Time, it literally turns back the clock for any monster inside the bubble, looks awesome and is extremely cool – Indigo rune on Slow time. Favorite spell…. bit hard to answer, lots of them are awesome in certain situations. I’m going to go with Crimson runed Meteor. It turns meteor into Meteor Shower, which bombards the area randomly with small meteors. Its pretty epic.
Q: Is the wizards resource still Arcane Power in the current version? Is there any plans to change it?
A: Yes, its still Arcane Power. I feel that it works fine, but there’s a chance it may change to a Mana-like thing to simplify/balance the amount of spells/combo’s.
Q: How are the item drops currently are they completely random or are they partially relevant? Random being D2 where you have to spend days getting what you want to drop.
A: Random as far as I can tell. Again, items are being worked on heavily right now.
Q: Any knowledge in terms of the game’s system requirements or graphical options?
A: Can’t help you with Sys reqs, but their are a few graphics options that were recently introduced. One lets you define how long corpses stay on the ground for. Others are more standard stuff.
Q: Can you tell us about a few of the high-end skills we haven’t seen yet?
A: “Familiar” is a new spell that got put in to our builds not too long ago. I hesitate to spoil the surprise on this one, its one of the high-tier spells. Its a summable that stays with you, a bit like Valkyrie for the amazon. I don’t want to spoil what she looks like, but she is simply AWESOME. Oh, and there are no working runes for her yet.