Blizzard to Reveal Diablo III Feature at GamesCom 2010

PCGames.De reports that Diablo 3 Game Director Jay Wilson will hold a 30-minutes press conference and Q&A at the end of GamesCom 2010 — in Cologne, Germany — to reveal invited journalists a new secret feature of Diablo III.

The Diablo III demo will be available at the game floor throughout the GamesCom event.

Bashiok seems to confirm this report by the german site.

Diablo II Ladder Reset 3/23

Hey, folks. Bashiok announced today that the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction ladder will be reset on March 23, marking the release of Diablo II patch 1.13 into the live realms.

Blizzard Quote:
We will be resetting the Diablo II ladder on Tuesday, March 23 with the release of patch 1.13. We anticipate all Diablo II realms to be down for approximately six hours during the reset. More specific information on realm availability on the day of the reset will be posted in the Battle.net Status forum. When the ladder is reset, all existing ladder characters will be converted to non-ladder.

All characters and items being converted to non-ladder will remain intact, but once converted these characters will no longer have access to ladder content such as creating ladder-only rune words. For more information on ladder characters please visit the Arreat Summit Realm Character Types page

DIABLO II 1.13 Q&A

What’s the advantage to creating a Ladder Character?

This is similar to starting out on a brand new realm. Players will be able to experience Diablo II like when the game was first released. When the Ladder Season first begins, players start at Level 1 and do not have powerful items. They also cannot use powerful high-level items or other high-level characters to help them level up faster. Players create a character in a brand new world (Ladder Character world) where everything (economy, levels) starts from the beginning. The main advantage of creating a Ladder Character is being able to join in on a totally new economy where powerful items are very valuable.

What if I don’t play ladder or don’t want to compete on the ladder?

Although they are called Ladder Characters, players do not have to compete on the ladder to play. You can simply play at your own speed and not worry about how you are ranked on the ladder.

Can I convert existing characters to Ladder Characters?

No, you must flag a character as a Ladder character when it is first created.

How long will the ladder season last?

This has yet to be determined.

What happens when the ladder season is over?

All Ladder Characters become either Normal Core or Normal Hardcore Characters depending on what type of Ladder Characters they are. If you want to be a Ladder Character for the next Ladder season you must create a new character and flag it as a Ladder Character.

Do I get to keep my Ladder Only Items when the season is over?

Yes. Any Ladder Only Items will be converted over when your character is converted to a Core character. These items can now be traded with other Core characters. That is the only way for Core characters to get ladder only items, as leftovers after a season is over.

Do I have to beat the game with a Ladder Character to create a Ladder Hardcore Character?

No, you can finish the game with either a Normal character or a Ladder character to unlock Ladder Hardcore Characters.

Can you convert a Ladder Character to a Normal Character?

No. Blizzard does this automatically when the Ladder Season ends.

Does the ladder offer anything beyond a more stable economy?

Yes there are some items that can only be obtained with a ladder character such as some class specific and elite uniques. There are also some ladder-only rune words as well as cube recipes that can only be created by a ladder character. While these items can eventually make their way to non-ladder after a ladder reset, they can only be initially found or created by using a ladder character.

Jay Wilson Interview at Diablofans

Diablofans has an interview with Jay Wilson about Diablo III. The question about the Monk yielded some interesting tidbits such as the replacement of the Skill Tree by a brand-new skill based system the team is experimenting with. We will learn more about it through the Diablo Twitter in the near future. The female monk is nigh done, and will be announced soon.

Jay teased there are things they haven’t announced yet which allow players to customize their characters’ stats through their items, thus forget about the original Diablo’s elixirs. A level 100 character on harder modes will have unique item / gear models not seen in easier modes — not just a rehash of the same item-model with a different name.

Concerning immunities, my interpretation on Jay’s answer is that in Diablo II certain bosses had a full immunity to a magic resistance (i.e. immune to ice damage) — I remember back in the day when I played single player with a sorceress and focused my skill points on ice-based spells … let’s just say, it wasn’t fun fighting Duriel and running like a sissy. Apparently, in Diablo III bosses won’t have the same problem. You might have other spells or abilities that you usually don’t use much to adapt to every situation. Bosses will still have a certain degree of resistances, but nothing so extreme as in Diablo II where you could be stuck, or forced to play in a group.

Unique items are known in Diablo III as Legendary Items. Vendor NPCs will still be there to offer weapons and armor to fill the gap on the random / luck drop factor. If you haven’t found a replacement for your boots, you can simply buy an item from a vendor while you find something better to replace it with.

The biggest turn off of the interview was their decision to not include Ureh in the first installment of Diablo III to save time in their internal scheduled development. Thus, Ureh is likely getting some development-time in future Diablo III expansions. PvP was completely ignored with no comments.

Highlights

  • Female Monk animations nigh completed
  • Skill Tree replaced by Skill-based System (no more Wow/Dii Skill Tree)
  • Twitter will be an exclusive source of Diablo III news
  • Unannounced Stats customization through items
  • Difficulty Mode at lvl 100 gives items/models not seen in easier modes
  • No more full resistance immunity bosses or rather unable to beat them. Keyword: Adapt.
  • Ureh won’t make it into Diablo III

Diablo III: Siegebreaker Breaks Wall To Catch Merc Through Debris

There are two interesting posts from Bashiok today: one is a blooper in the gameplay video and the second is a very cool detail in the gameplay video that couldn’t be perceived as intended and most people missed. While critters usually die in one shot when doing AOE damage, the critters in Diablo III keep doing their thing as if they were tickled super-bunnies.

There is something the developers worked so hard to show in the gameplay video, and couldn’t get it right. Then the announcement of Diablo 3 was upon them, and it had to go out unpolished.  The Siegebreaker breaks through the wall and grabs the merc to kill him, adding an element of surprise using the physix engine as a tool to mimic such brutal action with the debris falling all over the place while his victim disappears into its clutches.

Blizzard Quote:

BLOOPER: SUPER-BUNNIES

Ladranas: The firebomb attack will annihilate anything, except the rabbit that it directly hit.  Haha, not trying to troll around, but if you look at the gameplay vid the WD targets a rabbit with the firebomb spell and it continues to sit there and eat grass haha.  I always knew critters were the most powerful part of any game! Will we be seeing an “Elixir of Critter Strength I ” ? =)

Bashiok: Heh, I think someone brought this up a long time ago and I replied to it then too. There was a bug in that build that caused critters to sometimes not be effected by direct damage. If you bombed them off to one side though they’d go flying. To put your mind at ease, bunnies will axplode!

ANTI-HYPER, BOO!

Frozen-wolf: Previously when beta tests were announced and sign-ups were launched, sign-ups that occur from the same household were disqualified. I was wondering if people who live in the same house, who apply for different battle.net accounts and both opt-in for betas will be disqualified?

Datth: Unfortunately we do not have information on beta signups or events. If you signed up for one, please check the details/fine print carefully to see what is eligible.

ME SMASH, PUNY HUMAN

2337: I’m sorry for a possibly useless thread, but even though I’ve watched the WWI Gameplay video MANY MANY times I’ve never noticed this before.  At the scene where Cain tells the merc to “Get away from the wall!” the walls breaks, fall down and the merc is dead (buried). This is what I thought until a few minutes ago when I watched the scene by stepping framewise through it to see how the wall buries him. I suddenly noticed a giant hand that grabbed the merc and pulled him off! It’s the siegebreaker who grabs the merc through the wall and smashes it by doing so .

Bashiok:  It is indeed the siegebreaker’s giant hand that grabs him. It was an extremely difficult and trying shot to create and capture. The way the interior and exterior sections were set up and shot it made it necessary to capture them uncut.

The hand shot just wasn’t working that well, so we’d tweak it, hope that the physics would move the debris properly. Shoot, it didn’t work right. Tweak it again, reshoot the entire interior run, something else might go wrong, etc. Over and over. In the end we had to settle with what would appear to most as a wall collapse simply because we didn’t have time before the announcement to keep tweaking it and reshooting everything to make it more clear that it was a hand busting through the wall and grabbing him. Especially when the one we went with had some very perfect moments in it (zombie corpse landing on railing).

I’m glad that someone caught it though, a lot of work went into those animations, and unfortunately we just ran out of time to showcase them.

GDC 2009: Blizzard’s Pardo: Sony, Microsoft Need New Forms Of Gameplay

Recently we reported that Rob Pardo confirmed that Blizzard and Microsoft are talking about the Xbox 360 successor.  They want Microsoft to learn from Nintendo. During the Luminaries Lunch at the GDC 2009,  Junction Point’s Warren Spector slashed at Rob Pardo with mockery … “I

Blizzard And Microsoft Talk Xbox 360 Successor For Next-Gen MMO?

Rob Pardo confirmed at the GDC 2009 that Blizzard Entertainment and Microsoft are talking about the Xbox 360 successor.  And by the looks of it they want its successor to have a keyboard and mouse peripherals and tools to allow MMO and RTS gameplay on consoles.  The potential is enormous. Imagine World of Warcraft, Starcraft: Ghost, Starcraft II and even Diablo III on PC and Consoles.  It is the culprit of the Next-Gen MMO no doubt.

The future is looking brighter for Blizzard and all its millions of fans if Microsoft can pull the right cards off its sleeve and places them into the table to make it possible.

Blizzard Quote:
Rob Pardo: “There are are so many games like we make at Blizzard that we don’t take to consoles because they don’t support the input device, and you end up with crappy ports. That’s why RTS games never do well on consoles,” he said.

“If I was them, I’d be sitting around trying to figure out what’s a cool input device that supports all types of new kinds of games.”—read more

Diablo 3 Wizard Orb and Unannounced Weapon Enchantment

Bashiok teased players with one of the Diablo III features that have not been announced yet: How to upgrade base weapons damage to make them more powerful? The answer is not former Diablo II runes. Say whoa? We will probably have to wait until Blizzcon 2009 this August to find out or one of the BlizzCasts? Additionally, we learn something about the Wizard.

Blizzard Quote:

Wizard

Bashiok: The sort of plate-like gauntlets shown on her are part of the armor set look she was wearing. I think the “focus” you’re talking about is actually an orb, which is a wizard-specific off hand item. You’ve got the idea right though, a lot of the wizard spell animations incorporate the orb into a sort of focusing element while casting. The electrocute and disintegrate videos show it pretty well.

Unannounced Weapon Enhancement

Bashiok: I think it’s important not to mistake the word used for a system (in this case rune) for what the systems are actually accomplishing.

In Diablo II runes were used to augment weapons and essentially add more stats to them, runes in certain combinations would create runewords which were in essence more powerful than the sum of each individual rune. But remove the word rune, and you’re looking at a system that simply upgrades items.

Similarly, runes in Diablo III, take away the word rune and we’re looking at a system where skills and abilities can be altered to behave differently, simply increased in effectiveness, or some combination thereof.

Essentially what your question comes down to then is, where is the system in Diablo III that allows us to make base weapons more powerful? And that’s a question that will have to be answered at a later time.

Diablo II Patch 1.13 Community Wish List

Bashiok invites all Diablo II players to share their ideas. It is probably the first time the Diablo II community has the opportunity to become involved in the development of a patch with plenty of heads up. What changes or features do you wish to see in patch 1.13 ?

Blizzard Quote:
We

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