This week the Diablo III Community Manager Bashiok answered a few questions from the Battle.net forum community continuing the analysis of the gameplay video shown at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals.
Whether all classes will have an ability to traverse obstacles like the Barbarian did, or if they will have to use alternate routes.
Bashiok: While the crumbling bridge could be taken quite literally, it was intended to get the idea across that Diablo III will have more interactive and responsive environmental hazards. Of course if such obstacles existed in the way they were displayed every class would need some way to proceed. At this time we aren’t announcing any additional class abilities though.
Is the demo dungeon really Tristram Cathedral? The screenshots are under the Tristram entry on the website, but it’s got a different name in the demo. Is it really a test dungeon all around, including the name? Is is it akin to the mini dungeons of Diablo 2, same texture set, randomly generated and individually named.
Bashiok: It used the same “tile set” as the Tristram Cathedral dungeon including a specially made entry room. It was a static and specifically crafted dungeon especially for the demo, so yes it includes the look for Tristram Cathedral, but it’s not a true piece of the game as you would play through it.
I’ve read comments from different developers that the remaining character classes will be entirely new, others indicating there are other classes that have been re-envisioned and revamped. Which is it? Fans are commonly assuming at least the pure caster like the Sorc will return. The Lore guys have also made a point of emphasizing the look and attitude of “veterans” from D2.
Bashiok: Hey, are you kind of kid who reads the last page of a mystery first? Who pesters the magician to tell you his tricks? Who sneaks downstairs to peek at his Christmas presents? Nooooo… of course you’re not. That’s why I’m noooot goooonna teeeeell yoooou!
Characters can use any and all types of items, barring class specific ones (if I remember an early post you made correctly.) Yet no requirements are listed on the items in the demo. Too early to see the complete package, or change in item requirements?
Bashiok: What I said was: “… we don’t plan nor have any armor items at the moment that are class specific – although the bonuses and stats may be better suited to a certain class – anyone can pick up any chest/shoulder/leg/etc item and wear it. However, there are some weapons/off-hand items that are class specific.”
No changes to this yet, there just weren’t any drops that were class specific. We essentially “hand placed” every drop that happened in the video. We knew people were going to dissect and scrutinize every detail, and everything that drops in that video was purposefully and specifically chosen to be dropped… everything.
Fun fact: I played as the female barbarian for the recording.
The awesome biting off of heads and such…does it relate to game play in some way, or is it a visual effect?
Bashiok: Well the way we imagined the final fight going down when thinking about the flow of the presentation was to have a few heroes killed off, and thought it would be cooler to see someone get ripped in half by a giant demon than just fall down. While it was an event made for the presentation it could definitely be worked in to the actual end-product. We try not to spend time on anything that can’t be incorporated in some way. If there’s a mockup or some cool flavor added in somewhere to show something off, we want to build it so that it can actually be used.
Outdoor environments. Are they for the most part randomly generated like the dungeons? I’ve been getting the impression there are more static areas , excluding cities, in the outdoors as opposed to the dungeons.
Bashiok: They’re for the most part static. With the outdoor environments we felt we could get a lot more out of them by crafting large and visually impressive scenes, which random map generation really just doesn’t allow for all that well. By that same token one of the main goals with Diablo III is to flesh out Sanctuary, to make it feel more like you’re in this living and breathing world. With towns shifting around everywhere you do sort of lose a sense of cohesion, and an attachment to the places you’re visiting.
On a very slight technical note – for random map generation you’re essentially creating a bunch of rooms that can all fit together in various ways. It works quite well for a dungeon which is essentially a series of rooms any way. For an outdoor environment though it tends to make it either fairly bland, or fairly linear just by how the edges have to line up. You’re either running zig-zag patterns to find the map edges, or you’re running down a narrow pathway. Neither are extremely compelling, and at the same time you’re losing the visual grandness that could come from a fully hand-crafted and artistically realized environment.
That said, the outdoor areas aren’t completely static.
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