BlizzCon 2016 Diablo III Dev Talk Panel Transcript

Panel Q&A

Kevin: All right. So we’re going to set up some questions here on the left side. You want to step forward a little?

How’s it going guys? I have a quick question. It’s more of a request. I love what you could have done with the engine in Diablo, everything’s fast-paced speed, you go really really fast. There was one little tiny tiny tiny aspect of the previous games Diablo I and Diablo II that I miss, which (and I think I’m alone here) is toggling: walk or run. Are you guys ever going to add that? Everything is just super super fast.

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Travis: No. (laughs) I don’t know. I remember toggling walk and run, and it was only because my stamina bar was empty; and I would just be spamming it like: “Come on! Refill for God’s sake!” We’ve never talked about turbo walk run. I mean, is it because you want to RP walk more stylish?
 

Like I said, I’m alone here and you know.

Wyatt: You’ll walk during the Anniversary dungeon. That’s pretty awesome. It has that nostalgia feel for sure.

Kevin: That’s not at the absolute top of the list, but thank you for the suggestion.

 

 

Hi, big fan. I was wanting to know since all seven of the Greater Evils are in the Black Soulstone… that constitutes that Tathamet, it should be out and about, and wreaking havoc. So where’s Tathamet? Or, are you going to do anything with Tathamet?

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Kevin: Okay, so… that logic doesn’t automatically follow, by the way. Diablo became the Prime Evil which is a combination of all of them. Diablo, of course, has always been conniving, and he’s not always agreed with all of his siblings; and he’s taken over at that point; and Malthael did something with that in that final fight.

Who knows what’s happening next. Obviously we’re not going to spoil anything at this point, I’m afraid, but yeah… that logic doesn’t automatically follow, but maybe it’s that. So other than those spoilers: Yeah! Maybe. Maybe not.

 

 

Hey guys, what’s going on? I love the necromancer. Played the demo, and whatnot. Two questions. One kind of shorter: Are you willing to let us know what the necromancer only weapons and armor are going to be? And two: In the demo, and a lot of the concept art you showed, the necromancer with a Kama and a Bone-shield — Can you let us know what kind of weapons you’re designing the class to use since in Diablo II they use a lot of two-handed weapons and daggers? You know the off-hand, which Witch Doctors kind of use at this point. So what’s going on with that?

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Travis: Yeah, absolutely. So if you’ve played through the demo, hopefully you all enjoyed it, the class weapon for the necromancer currently we’re planning on doing scythes. Kama as you called it. So the scythe, the bone-shield, really was because when we started working on the build for BlizzCon we had no idea what we were going to put in his off-hand, and early I don’t know — “That shield looks really cool! Just put that on and then we’ll figure this out,” but the current talks are that he’ll have like a main-hand and off-hand sort of combination. We’re still figuring out. We’ve got lots of really awesome concept like glowing fiery skulls, or like goblets of blood. So we’re still kind of feeling out what the off-hand is; but it will function very similar to like the wizard or witch doctors that they have a class main-hand and off-hand specific for them.
 

 

Great changes on the way. Thank you very much for addressing certain issues. Secondly, were there any plans of making more lore-based dungeons, or events in-game like Siggard from Bear’s Hill, or let’s say armor dungeons for Bartoc the Bloody?

(Editor’s Note: Siggard is the main character in the first-ever Diablo eBook by Robert B. Marks, titled Diablo: Demonsbane which is reprinted in the Diablo Archive volume)

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Kevin: So the question is are we going to add some dungeons that are more story-based, basically like the examples you had? Well, in a way, so the new zones that we have, one is a dungeon, one is an exterior.

Shrouded Moors is outside. The Temple of the Firstborn is inside, and similar to what we did with Ruins of Sescheron, there’s going to be a bunch of lore moments in there. So in particular, Temple of the Firstborn is sort of a history lesson of like the prehistory of Diablo.

So that’s going to have a bunch of story elements in it, but the fact that you know most of us at this point largely play adventure mode except for specific times when we go back to visit campaign. We felt right now that we wanted to try to get the best of both worlds and have that story be there, but be able to play it non-linearly.

So unlike campaign where it has a distinct beginning, middle, and end, we want to have a story that the more you play the adventure mode, the more you can explore. So when that hits PTR, those two new zones, let us know what you think of that approach, and of course how you felt it going to Ruins of Sescheron.

 

 

Gentlemen, it’s an honor. My question is to you. Is there anything in the future of plans to do more CGI-type movies, or for the storyline, really like Overwatch. Something like that, and you know some people are nostalgic for the way the drawings are, I don’t know if you guys ever thought of that.

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Kevin: So we are not. We probably wouldn’t tease anything like that in advance, when we are working on it. We did have a little necromancer trailer from yesterday. I dont know if you happened to see that one with some CGI in it. So we did do that, as far as like more story elements, we’re often looking for ways to add more lore to the world like, there’s the world of Sanctuary, and all those continents have a lot more lore associated with it, and there’s just quite a depth of stuff that hasn’t always hit you. Even if you read the Book of Cain and the Book of Tyreal. There’s other information there. So whether it be movies or books, or in-game lore books, or character conversations, we are trying to put more story in a pretty regular basis; but we don’t have any particular thing to say about any movies right now.
 

 

Hey, so Season games coming into console is awesome, but I hate when I get into a game and this guy 420blazeit programs 10,000 3-socket, 43 dps weapon. how are you going to combat them being number one on the leaderboards, because that’s kind of unfair.

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Wyatt: I can’t go into a ton of detail about some of the things that our team is doing. Our engineers are doing. I can say that Seasons on Console is a PS4 and XBox One feature only. That’s actually a really big deal. A lot of the paragons and items were brought over from prior, since everyone is making a new character and it is next-gen consoles only, our engineers are going to do their best. Beyond that I can’t promise anything more.
 

 

I’m kind of curious though. You’re saying it’s for the Xbox One and PS4, some of the PS4 items– it’s kind of hidden on the patches there on PC systems like the new cosmetic items. There’s a lot of this stuff showing up on PS4 online. So they’re not pulling them from PS3. So somehow people are actually modifying PS4 save files.

Wyatt: I can’t talk more about the details or the specifics of hacks. You know it’s not something that we really talk about publicly, sorry.
 

Will there be a specific online only version of it, or is it online and offline? Because I know it’s kind of right now. That was the difficulty of it.

Kevin: Well, when we’re getting closer to launch we will have more details about that. Partly, the feature is still in development, and so that’s part of why we can’t talk about it as far as the hack thing. We basically have a policy of not saying what we’re doing about hacking, except to say that we do have a security team who works on that stuff. And so that’s why Wyatt gave that answer as well.
 

 

On Diablo I, when you kill Diablo, the loop drops, but you get a cutscene. Do I get my loot 20 years later?

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Wyatt: Honestly, I don’t even remember that.

Kevin: We will have a meeting about that.

Travis: I can’t find these 20 year old loot, but we do have a lot of really cool stuff planned for the Anniversary event. One of my favorite things that actually these guys came up with, like how we really want to do a legendary gem. Wouldn’t it be crazy if you socketed it into your helmet like… hell no! I just want to cram this also in my face. So you get a legendary helm gem where periodically you guys struggles for control of the demon within and then explodes in fire, so we’ve got a lot of really cool throwback items. They’re not 20 year old loot though.

Adam: The great thing about the Darkening of Tristram is that you can go back, and get that loot.

 

 

I played the necromancer as my main for literally like 12 years now, so it’s great to see it come back. It’s really good. I was wondering if you guys could do anything towards bringing Bone Wand as the main weapon, because it feels more at home than a scythe-sickle type of weapon.

Travis: I don’t think we’re going to go with that as the main weapon, but it is super iconic. I can certainly see us doing some kind of like Bone Wand legendary weapon for necromancers.

Kevin: Or even as part of a set. Possibly–

Travis: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Kevin: There’s a bunch of options.

Travis: Yeah. What do you think of the necro?

 

I really enjoyed it. Great nostalgic feel, it was a lot of fun, and everything exploded.

Kevin: Yes it did.
 

One tiny gripe was, corpse explosion, it used to do percentile things based on that. That can’t really happen anymore, it would be really unbalanced for scaling. I feel Corpse Explosion was the one spell that didn’t quite pop. It visually does, but not damaged.

Travis: That’s totally fair. So we’ve done tons of like internal playtesting. That’s actually probably my fault. So the first pass of the BlizzCon build we had, they had like infinity shadow vermin swarming you. It was like no one’s going to push anything, but corpse explosion. Can we tone down the density? So they did, but the experience of corpse explosions are going to vary wildly depending on what types of monsters you’re fighting in the environment you’re in. Hopefully, when you do get swarmed by a bunch of shadow vermin you’ll just get to explode everything in the universe.
 

 

Hey guys, I saw on your challenger video that the optimized strategy became just to skip all white monsters, and rares, and I was wondering if that is like indicative of that’s what you’re happy with for this strategy for greater rift speeding, or If you have any plans to do something else?

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Wyatt: I think it actually depends on the build. So in that particular video, if you’re playing a chicken doctor that is the best way to run that particular build; but there’s other builds that are focused on killing you know not only monsters as well, and I think that’s one of the really neat things about challenge rifts, since it’s actually a community pulled build, the optimal strategy changes based on what it’s going to be. I mean it might be elites, in one case, but it might not on another one.
 

 

I have a question about legendary item powers. I see a lot of the legendaries that you are coming up with are focused on bridging the gap between skills and making them less lackluster maybe more damaging more exciting, so do you have any plans for legendary affixes like Corruted Ashbringer, where they are really powerful, they are really awesome, but maybe not cubeable. So that more classes could use them but they are still really cool basically.

Travis: The cube is a really integral feature to just how your character development works at this point. I don’t think there’s any talks about making things not cubeable. Really, when we’re coming up with legendaries, it’s partly you know what skills are not getting its own use, what sets or playstyles have kind of fallen behind. Sometimes it’s just what do we think would be cool like with the lighting wizard. It’s always are goal to sort of keep introducing cool stuff, and a lot of the time, we just want to make something because it just seems neat and hopefully people will find a cool use for this. Frequently, when we add items if the playstyles that we added them for aren’t like suddenly getting more play, we’ll just keep adding more items until it gets there.
 

 

I’ve played the necromancer. I really like it. I’m happy with where it’s going, and I had played the first two games, and love those games. I’m curious who else was on the chopping block as far as potential characters you were wanting to put back into the game.

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Kevin: So you’re asking what other classes were under consideration?
 

Right.

Adam: Back to the drawing board, Kevin.

Kevin: We have ideas for brand new classes that have never been done in Diablo. There’s other fan favorites like druid or something shape-shiftery. Certainly a very popular thing around the office, Amazon, etc. So yeah, other ones you’d expect are on the list. Obviously, and some ones you guys have never heard of, but necromancer I think we’re feeling nostalgic and grim at the same time. Maybe because Halloween is so close. I don’t know. The necro seemed like the right guy for this year, and so that’s all we took.

 

 

And then just really quick, I know you guys don’t dive into this too much, but so you guys are mentioning Sanctuary is this awesome world, you guys have tons of areas to explore, you guys were mentioning how the Anniversary event is this yearly thing. Is there, you guys wanting to keep that trend where there’s new kind of content you come out only for a short amount of time, or will there be more permanent things that you guys are very interested in doing for the world of Diablo?

Kevin: We tend to lean towards more permanent elements that are just there, you can play them, and maybe they’re unlockable sometimes like Kanai Cube you had unlocked by exploring the Ruins of Sescheron, which was something of an experiment for us, but the anniversary event is our first annual event; and we’ll see how that goes, and if we have good ideas that are fun, and that it’s important that they’re not always available.

Then if having it be less frequent makes it better. We’ll do that like again using Halloween, that’s my favorite holiday and if I could dress up and give out candy every day, it wouldn’t be as cool. So that’s sort of the approach to the anniversary thing. That said, we tried to make it last for a long time so it’d be a whole month so everybody regardless of hopefully whatever is happening in their life will have a chance to play it during that time once a year.

Adam: I don’t feel like that, the challenger stuff does a good amount of that where a certain build will come up in a week with a very specific layout, and we will never see that exact same rift again, and it’s going to keep cycling those out, and it’s been really interesting for the team, because as I said, we’ve got our heart set on the whole I remember that whole build, I remember the whole like finding the right pylon, and it was really cool. We are super curious to see what you guys think of that feature as something that feels like exclusive time content.

 

Well, that Wonder Woman movie is coming out, and then there is this Skovos Islands. So maybe we can have like– you know. Something going on there. Just an idea. Cya

 

Hi guys. Every season, I love playing my witch doctor and I think all this stuff is really cool right now, but with the Gargantuan and the dogs I find that the AI could be kind of strange sometimes, especially like maybe you’re pushing high Great Rifts like 80+, and two of your Gargantuans want to go and fight trash while you’re trying to tank. Do you guys have any plans to improve on the AI of those pets, maybe make it easier to target certain monsters.

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Travis: You should play the necro.

Joe: We do actually look at the AI for the class pets, in some ways they work similar to the AI for monsters, but of course they are controlled by you, so they have additional restrictions, and that’s something that we go back and look at periodically. So we’ll look at it.

 

One more quick question, with new big patches coming up when you guys are doing balancing and tuning are there any plans to change the Legacy of Nightmares set to bring it up to par with the other competitive sets?

Wyatt: I don’t know if I would say that the legacy of nightmare set is behind. I think Legacy of Nightmares is a set that it’s constantly changing inherently by nature of new lengendaries being added to the game. I think there’s also always the possibility that there are new undiscovered belts, new interactions to be found. I mean, I think for example the (unknown item), the Fortress Ballista is an interaction that wasn’t discovered the day after Legacies of Nightmares.

Nightmares came out, it took a while, and I think we kind of were pretty happy with where Legacy of Nightmares is. I sort of think of it as like a constantly changing fifth set that every class has access to.

 

Kevin: Alright, we’re almost out of time. Let’s do lightning questions with lightning answers, real quick, before we have to shut this down.

 

So in the video you had explained just briefly on the armory system, I wanted to know are the items that we are going to be extra sets in the armory system? Do they have to stay in our stash, or in our inventory, or they’re going to be blank just staying in that armory?

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Wyatt: The Armory doesn’t hold anything. Your items are still held in your stash. There’s an option to decide whether it goes to your inventory, or your stash when you do a swap.
 

Kevin: Alright, one more question. I think, lightning round. Lightning round.

 

I really love playing Diablo on PC, and sometimes it hurts my wrists. Are you ever going to support controllers on the PC or in Mac?

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Wyatt: No plans for that.
 

 

First off, thank you for necromancer. Very happy with that. Have you guys ever decided about making like a timed boss fight where you go through a bunch of the Greater Rifts bosses, and then maybe have like Diablo, as a point where you hit him and then you move on, and then you go like boss, boss, boss, boss; and you can like raise up the difficulty?

Wyatt: Maybe.

Kevin: Yes, that idea has come up. Yeah, interesting idea.

 

Kevin: I’m afraid we’re out of time. Thank you again, so much. I really do hope you enjoy the necromancer, and all these changes next week in the anniversary event. I look forward to seeing a few more of you on the floor, and see you in Sanctuary. Bye.

Transcriber: iluv2proofread
Editor: Medievaldragon

BLIZZCON 2016 DIABLO III DEV TALK PANEL TRANSCRIPT
SeasonsLeaderboardsDevil in the DetailsAdventure ModeGreater RiftsLegendary Items
Challenge RiftsSummaryPanel Q&A

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