BlizzCon 2014 – Diablo III: What’s Next Panel Transcript

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Adventure Mode

Ebbert: Thanks Josh. How you guys doing?

(Audience cheers)

Jonny Ebbert

Ebbert: They switched clickers on me here. Give me a second to absorb this thing. So Adventure Mode. So in Reaper of Souls we introduced Adventure Mode, because we just wanted to turn you all loose in the wide world of Sanctuary. Very exciting place. And we didn’t want you to have to deal with the restrictions of story mode.

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We wanted you to be able to jump from point to point without having to go back to the menus. And we also put bounties in to entice you to visit some areas maybe you didn’t have the time to check out when you were in story mode– like Scavenger’s Den.

And you guys responded with overwhelming enthusiasm. Adventure mode is by far the most popular mode. So we sat down and we asked ourselves: “What are some of the things we could do to make it a little better for you?”

And we came up with three things. So first, we thought that we should add a few more legendary gems. Second, we wanted to add some more visual variety to Rifts and Greater Rifts; and finally, we decided to take a look at some of the hub layouts. Let’s talk about hub layouts for a second, we are extremely happy–

Mosqueira: Wait for it.

Ebbert: We are very happy with Acts 3, 2 and 5. Everything is pretty convenient, and it’s pretty easy to get what you want and get back to slaying out in the wide world of sanctuary.

Now we have heard some reports… maybe that one is a little too spread out. Maybe it takes a little too long to get to the Mystic or the Jeweler. So we asked Deckard Cain: Can he do a little research mission for us.

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His mission, how long does it take to get to the jeweler? We are going to check back a little while. Let’s talk about Rifts and Greater Rifts.

So Rifts and Greater Rifts, like I have been telling you, the sanctuary is an exciting place, lot of cool zones, lot of cool monsters you can meet and kill. Rifts gave us the opportunity to give you an even more exciting world to explore.

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So we take our terrain and your terrain set and we can mix that with a different atmosphere, which is the lighting and the ambient effects and we can mix it with another monster set.

For instance, if you go into the Rift and you hit the Heaven terrain set– the atmosphere from Arreat Crater give you like the monsters from Act 2 so it keeps things fresh and you can kill them.

So the problem is: some of the zones from early days of the project weren’t built with this functionality in mind. So let’s take Tristram Fields, for example. Tristram Fields comes up in a Rift or Greater Rift.

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You always start at this freaking bridge and then you always see the river going up the right side and you always see the road going up to that little canyon that goes nowhere in Adventure mode and you have to look for the Den of the Fallen in Scavenger’s Den in the top right plays exactly how it does in the Story mode.

So we took the tile set and pulled it apart, and we made it so that any number of layouts and flows could happen. So this is one of a dozen that could pop up. Now the important thing is the entrance and exit can be anywhere.

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So it’s not going to be like the Leoric’s Jail where you always start here and you just need to get down here. It’s going to feel like a fresh and exciting experience for you.

The zone you are going to expect have more varied layouts and again Rift and Greater Rift are: Oasis, Spider Caves, and Leoric’s Jail.

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Then in upcoming patches… Tristram Fields, Festering Woods and Stinging Winds will actually be making his debut because of the way we built it, it cannot actually be in Rifts or Greater Rifts right now.

So that will be an exciting moment for us all. Let’s talk about Legendary Gems. How many of you guys feel about Legendary Gems?

(Audience applauds)

Ebbert: Really, is that all? How do you feel about Legendary gems?

(Audience applauds and screams)

Ebbert: Now we are talking. So we had a few goals for Legendary Gems. First, it was to add another vector for you guys to get more powerful and get higher in Greater Rift tiers.

More importantly, we wanted to give you a ways to change your gameplay and we wanted to give you more tactical variety; and our final fantasy as designers is we wanted to give you the opportunity to create a larger variety of builds because collectively you guys never cease to amaze us with the cool and corky builds you come with and every time we see a new one we always huddle around somebody’s computer and we are like “Oh my gosh they are doing that with our stuff?” So we are hoping Legendary Gems will do that and then some.

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So we pulled the player data — because we are watching you, and there’s a lot to be happy about here. All the gems are getting a decent amount of play. Now there’s a couple of things we would like to see change in the future. Bane of the Powerful, Bane of the Trapped, and Enforcer taking up almost half the pie. We would like to see that shrink.

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Taeguk, Moratorium, and Invigorate not taking up quite as much pie as we would like. Now we don’t want to do a redesign, and we don’t want to break out the dreaded nerf bat. So our approach is we are hoping that as we add more legendary gems there are going cut into the pie of the big pieces, and then as we add additional legendary items, new sets in the future some of these that are on the lower end of the pie might experience resurgence as you guys find new creative and exciting ways to use them.

With that being said in 2.1.2, you can expect two new legendary gems. So we decided to focus on healing and a defensive gem because they aren’t getting as much play as we would like to see.

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For the first one: Esoteric Alteration, got to read it out cause I know you can’t see it from the back.

Esoteric Alteration gained 30% non-physical damage reduction. When you get this legendary gem to 25, when you get below half health– all of your elemental resistance is increased by 75%.

It’s going to be a real lifesaver when you’re fighting that really tough Greater Rift boss. Next one Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard and I just wanted to add we do not advocate the irresponsible hunting of Molten Wildebeest. You know, be responsible but if you find the gizzard it’s fair game. So it generates an eye popping 50,000 life per second and–

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Cheng: Danny… that’s still subject to PTR.

Johnny: You guys can have fun with 50,000 life per second and then after not taking damage for 4 seconds you gain a shield for 200% of you total life per second. So those are legendary gems that are going to be waiting for you, and the changes to Adventure mode. Now I’m going to turn it over to Wyatt Cheng to talk about Greater Rift changes.

(Audience claps)

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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