BlizzCon 2010: G4TV Interviews Jay Wilson – Talisman in Diablo III

G4TV cornered Jay Wilson at BlizzCon 2010 to discuss Diablo III gameplay mechanics and the Talisman which serves as a repository of Charms in order to solve Diablo II’s clutter of charms in the inventory. In Diablo III, charms won’t take inventory space. They are deposited into the Talisman’s slots.

Blizzplanet: Blizzcon 2010 Coverage

Blizzplanet staff members Eldorian, Miaari and Omacron attended BlizzCon 2010 to bring our loyal visitors exclusive coverage of Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty content revealed at the event, and one-on-one interviews with the developers. Beneath you may find links to our coverage.

DIABLO III

WARCRAFT

STARCRAFT

NEXT-GEN MMO

GAMING SITES COVERAGE

Blizzcon 2010: Next-Gen MMO Teased Like No Tomorrow

Rob Pardo was busy teasing the press at BlizzCon 2010 concerning the upcoming Blizzard Next-Gen MMO. Does he do it masterfully.

While no one’s Jedi trick worked to make him spill the beans, according to VG247, his lips opened to say we shouldn’t expect a game reveal until at least 2012. Ok-ok. It sounds like so far away, but in reality if you check out your calendar we are already scratching the beginning of November, and just a couple months away from 2011.

It’s been now two years and a half since that special moment when Mike Morhaime announced Diablo III in Paris during the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals. I was there (thanks, Blizzard). Now we know all the five classes, and look forward to Diablo III Beta (which is sooner than you may think).

Before you know it, Blizzard will announce the Next-Gen MMO — and we can count on Rob Pardo, Paul Sams and Mike Morhaime to remind us, hint us, tease us, and enamore us with this new game, through their building expectations and awareness around it. In prelude to its official announcement.

Spawning straight from Blizzcon 2010, Gametrailers also got a five minutes video interview with Mike Morhaime — Blizzard Entertainment president — where he said:

Blizzard Quote:

“We’re working on a second MMO. We’re thinking of it as sort of Next-Generation MMO. It’s not a sequel to World of Warcraft. We want to do something a bit different. We’re not trying to replace World of Warcraft.

We think World of Warcraft can continue to co-exist with the new MMO. Some people might prefer the new one, some people might still prefer to keep playing World of Warcraft.

I think after doing World of Warcraft for the first time, we are so much smarter now. We have a lot of expertise that we didn’t have before, and I think we also want to sort of, you know, every massive multiplayer doesn’t have to be similar to the ones that exist today. We think that we can go in different directions, and still have a great massively multiplayer experience. We want to experiment with what that might look like.”

How the Demon Hunter Class Was Conceived

For many months, fans of the Diablo III community had wondered what the fifth playable class could be. Some were pretty close, some were off, and some hit the nail … well, partially. Not long ago, Flux and Eldorian kept telling me their guess was the fifth class would be a ranged class like the hunter.

Back on June 2009, I wrote a speculation article titled “What If? Diablo III Gunslinger Class”.

A year and a half later, the Demon Hunter was revealed at BlizzCon 2010. We were pretty close with our guesses, but the Diablo III Team decided to make this ranged fifth class with a twist: so far we haven’t seen the Demon Hunter with a bow, and while the crossbows have gun handles, they aren’t exactly pew-pew guns. Some of her devices are pretty cool like the Bola Shot, Fan of Knives, Grenades, Spike Trap, Molten Arrow, Multi-Shot, and the Entangling Shot.

It’s definitely not your normal Hunter archetype. It was designed with several ideas in mind with Sci-Fi and Fantasy pop culture references.

During a Diablo III panel, Jay Wilson acknowledged the idea of the Demon Hunter class came from Van Helsing, Star Wars and MacGyver.

Blizzard Quote:

Where did the idea for the Demon Hunter come from?

Jay Wilson: It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that we chose a ranged-weapon class as the fifth class; however we didn’t want to do something completely predictable. We liked the idea of a bounty hunter or a monster-hunter—someone who was a little bit more sinister and an aggressor—and so we came up with a character whose sole focus was, “I hate demons.” She’s had horrible things happen to her. She’s lost family, lost loved ones, and has dedicated her live to eradicating as many demons as she can by any means possible. As a character, she’s walked a lot of dark roads to gain the knowledge she needs to overcome her enemy.

With the demon hunter we found inspiration in characters like Van Helsing, Boba Fett, and even MacGyver. The demon hunter is very focused on conventional, man-made weaponry and gadgets. She dual-wields crossbows, and where one class might shoot of a magical fireball, the demon hunter would buy a device in the lower markets of Caldeum that would allow her to trap the essence of a demon and then release that essence in an explosive blast, not unlike a hand grenade. She has no qualms about using her enemies against themselves, dabbling in dark magic, and generally doing whatever it takes to destroy demons wherever they live.

Here is Blizzplanet’s round up on Blizzcon 2010 Diablo III Demon Hunter.

Diablo III Demon Hunter 20 Minutes Gameplay Video

Blizzard Entertainment unveiled and shared with the press guests a 20 minutes gameplay video of the Diablo III Demon Hunter class in different scenes. This is really where you can appreciate every single ability of the Shadow Hunter through different areas of the dungeon against various types of enemies, undertake some missions, and find what looks like one of the merchant companions via a quest.

Later on, you can see the Shadow Hunter accompanied by a Witch doctor and Barbarian players against monsters and a boss. Here’s where you can see some differences in the spells graphics hinting at runes at work: electric charge, frost, and poison traits in addition to the original abilities.

Blizzcon 2010: Diablo III Demon Hunter Gameplay Screenshots

Blizzard Entertainment gave us 20 gameplay screenshots of the Demon Hunter, Barbarian, Witch Doctor and Wizard in which you can see their spells and abilities in action.

One of the screenshots shows the ghost of King Leoric’s beheaded wife which gives you a quest.

The Hydra spell is back with the Wizard and depending on which runes you use you can customize Hydra in awesome ways. I will touch on runes, and traits soon from what the developers said at Blizzcon.

Blizzcon 2010: Diablo III PvP Screenshots

Blizzard gave press guests seven new Diablo III PvP Screenshots not found in the official website in addition to the three screenshots recently released.

PvP (short for ‘player versus player’ combat) has had a storied history in the Diablo series. For Diablo III, we’ve decided to take it in a new direction to ensure that it’s deep, organized, frantic, and fun.

Diablo III’s PvP battles are fought in arenas spread out across the world of Sanctuary. These arenas aren’t random — they’re all unique, designed with differing amounts of terrain and cover. You participate in PvP using the character of your choice, with access to all of the gear and skills you’ve accumulated playing the game in single-player or cooperative mode.

You’ll learn many of the fundamentals of PvP (like how to avoid attacks or target specific foes) by playing the single-player game, but PvP differs in that it isn’t an ideal venue for gathering new weapons and armor. Your rewards for shedding blood in the arena are purer than that: bragging rights, the joy of sending friends old and new to their swift and inglorious deaths, and points that represent how far you’ve progressed on the path to fame and glory.

When you participate in ranked games (fights that pit two opposing teams of players against each other in ‘best of’ matches), you’ll earn points for advancement based on kills, accomplished objectives, wins, and other factors. Points lead to multiplayer achievements, titles, and more. Our system is focused on encouraging furious combat and multiplayer progression, not stringent competitive rankings, so you’ll earn points after every match and Battle.net matchmaking will pit you against similarly skilled opponents.

We’re also looking into other PvP game types that exist outside the ranking system, like 1-on-1 duels and mutually chosen team battles (for example, you and your friends could divide into two teams for an arena showdown). We’ll have more information on the availability of these game types in the future.

Our aim for Diablo III’s PvP is to set you up with dangerous, exciting gladiatorial matches, let you battle it out with other players at your own pace, and allow you to proudly display your rewards. We’ve added a robust system to remove the obstructions that may have kept you out of the action, so that you can focus on what really matters: answering the age-old question of ‘who would win in a fight’ — with a gauntlet to the face.

BlizzCon 2010: Official Diablo III FAQ

Blizzard Entertainment issued an official Diablo III FAQ in our Press CD to address certain concerns of the community.

Blizzard Quote:

What is Diablo III?

We’re developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline, engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, growing in experience and ability, and acquiring items of incredible power.

Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level.

Which characters will be in Diablo III?

Players will create a male or female hero from one of five distinct classes — barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter — each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing players to create unique characters brimming with power.

What can you say about the different classes?

Returning from Diablo II, the dual-wielding barbarian is one of the stoic guardians of Mount Arreat. Retooled with powerful new abilities and moves, this plate-wearing savage wields ferocious weapons to annihilate the demonic forces threatening the world of Sanctuary.

The fearsome witch doctor hails from the terrifying Tribe of the Five Hills of the legendary umbaru race. The witch doctor is equipped with spells and alchemical powers; can summon mongrels, locust swarms, and zombie armies; and hurls fiery concoctions to annihilate any demon foolish enough to trifle with the powers of the umbaru.

The wizard is a wielder of the elements and a master manipulator of time, who combats the hordes of the Burning Hells by launching environment-shattering lightning bolts, channeling explosive arcane energies, and creating pockets of space outside of the normal flow of time.

The monk is a skilled warrior of unparalleled dexterity. Armed with speed, holy fervor, and a quest for physical and spiritual perfection, the monk becomes a deadly apparition in the heat of battle, moving faster than the eye can follow to strike down enemies with a barrage of lightning-fast blows.

The demon hunter has a sole purpose in life: to track down and destroy every last demonic being that dares to threaten humanity. Lithe and notoriously deadly with a pair of dual crossbows, the demon hunter brings an entire arsenal of arcane gadgets and mystical traps to the battlefields of Sanctuary.

How did the new demon hunter character class come about?

When we set out to create the fifth class, we knew we wanted to add another ranged character to the game. However, we also wanted to create a class that was more sinister than the typical ranger archetype. In the end, we came up with a character who has a personal vendetta against the demons and who will stop at nothing to eradicate every last trace of evil in Sanctuary.

While the demon hunter primarily uses traditional ranged weaponry such as bows, crossbows, or even dual-wielded one-handed crossbows, the class is also incredibly proficient with gadgetry, traps, and deadly grenades. The demon hunter has dedicated an entire lifetime to training to destroy demons, and few can rival her skill.

What is the story of Diablo III?

The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells — and were fortunate enough to survive — went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.

Will Diablo III be running on a new engine?

Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments. Powerful special-effects and physics systems allow for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation, and enable players to lay waste to the minions of the Burning Hells in spectacular ways.

Will Diablo still have randomized events?

Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by adding random scripted events and encounters throughout the game, creating a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, and dynamic encounters.

What can you tell us about Battle.net?

Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative play even more fun. We’ll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.

How will PvP be implemented in Diablo III?

While Diablo III is designed primarily for cooperative multiplayer, we are building in support for competitive player-vs.-player gameplay as well. We’re focusing on team-based PvP in an arena setting, and we are being careful to avoid PvP features that can easily lead to griefing, such as the ability to go hostile at will. We also plan to integrate Battle.net’s matchmaking system, a progression-based ranking system, and more.

When will Diablo III be released?

It’s too early to estimate Diablo III’s release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players. We’re aiming to release Diablo III on both Mac and Windows simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We’ll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.

What will Diablo III be rated?

The Diablo III rating will be determined by the ratings boards in each region. We still have a good amount of work to do content-wise, so we’re not quite ready to submit the game for ratings yet.

Will players interact with any familiar faces or places in Diablo III?

Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games, and they’ll also be exploring new areas of Sanctuary. Players will also encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games including Deckard Cain.

What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?

Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We’ll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.

What are the system requirements for Diablo III?

We’ll announce specific system requirements at a later date.

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