Yesterday, Wyatt Cheng spent an hour chatting on a fan via a Diablo 3 stream. It’s more of a casual chat than an interview, but there are some good nuggets of info, which I’m transcribing below. (Wyatt was followed by Travis Day for an even longer chat, which you can read here.)
The transcript below is *not* word for word, since it was a long conversation with a lot of chat and digression. I therefore tried to distill and abbreviate Wyatt’s comments into more direct, discrete points.
Can we see some sort of self found play mode?
Wyatt: We’ve given it a lot of thought. Right now I’m playing some self found Hardcore; alternating time on that and my higher level Paragon softcore characters. We like the idea of self-found, and of course players can just do it themselves, but ideally there would be some kind of recognition or insignia to denote self found characters.
An issue is trying to do it without cluttering up the UI. There’s a balance between giving expert players the options they want while not complicating things for other players. (Such as with Elective Mode and advanced tool tips.) Do we want another check box on the character creation screen?
I do think it’s a very cool way to play, but we don’t want to force it on people who don’t want to play that way. I know we’re non-committal about things a lot and some of the fans get frustrated, and I apologize for that. But our development process is super-iterative, and we’re always changing things around as we tested them out. And I don’t want to promise anything we might eventually test internally and then decide not to implement.
We’ve talked about making some kind of self-found insignia that would be on every character by default. So you’d create a character and they’d be self found until you traded or used the Auction House.
Gold sharing is another issue. Playing self found requires you to note how much gold you have to start with, so you don’t accidentally spend more than your character accumulates. We’d like to put in something that would let players show each character’s gold individually, but there’s no ETA on that.
Could we see some sort of self-found ladder?
Travis: Maybe. Again, sorry to be so non-committal, as they often are. It would be cool, and it’s come up internal discussions, but he can’t say more than that.
Nice that Wyatt replied with interest, but this desperately needed a follow up question. The entire point of a self found, Ironborn mode is that the characters are separate. It MUST work like Hardcore, to create an ecology of characters who can play together (but not trade) who are following the same rules. If you are in there growing chest hair by surviving with an Ironborn, you can’t be in a game with a character who has 10x your DPS and EHP from Auction House goods. It’s unfair, and would taint the entire experience since your “self found” drops wouldn’t really be self found, since someone else did all the work. So pity Wyatt didn’t mention that, and the streamer didn’t ask for clarification.
Click through for coverage of the hour Wyatt Cheng spent in the chat, with interesting info about upcoming itemization changes, overall skill balancing, lots of Auction House theorizing, and much more.