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

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New Monsters

Martens: Alright, so a new zone is not complete without new monsters. You may remember last year we unveiled a whole bunch of Reaper of Souls monsters including the Reaper family and back then we also had the Bog family.

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So our approaching monster design based on a families of monsters, groups that come together, big brutish monsters, little swarmers, etc.

This time around we are trying something different with the monster team. They are working instead on classes of monsters. So the first three I am going to show you are swarmer monsters and that’s what’s in the ruins today.

We are doing all the swarmers at once and that gives us the ability to have these monsters stand out from each other. They fill the same tactical role but putting them right next to each other really puts the onus on us as designers and monster makers to have them not play all the same way.

So the ruins are empty of civilization now. So monsters have come up from the forest and down from the mountains and have infested the ruins. Some entirely new monsters called the Naja Beetle. So these are kind of little fiery bastards. They got a spit attack as well. They are very easy to kill. So these ones aren’t too hard, but they do have that fire attack.

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Maggots however, when they die with this freeze attack you can really get into trouble. They are very easy to kill; but when you are swarmed by those, you have to be careful; because there are bigger monsters surrounding them might eat you for lunch.

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And then we have also done a lot of re-visiting some of our favourite monsters. It’s nice to get another chance to try something out.

This was based on the sand wasp. This was a monster that was so beloved or behated (if that’s a word); but even has bees about them… “Oh, the bees, the bees!”– with their spit attack.

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So these guys are different, by the way I miss how much damage that did. I like avoiding that. Showed me many times. I’m happy that we nerfed that. We should bump that back up.

Anyway, these guys are a lot more aggressive than them on the actual physical level. They burst out of these valley nests. They come right at you, and they do have a spit attack like the other wasp; but they use it a lot less frequently and there’s a lot more of their stinger in action there now, so this is a good monster who is very aggressive.

Alright, and then we have one more monster we are showing today, and a sneak peek of another one. This is the Rat King. If you don’t know, well you know we have a history of having very gross monsters in this game.

I’m going to say the Queen of Greed that we showed earlier, or the lord of Gluttony from Act III. This one is really the most disgusting that we have done. Please, if you have children in the audience, please cover their eyes. This is gross. Let’s just get to it.

I’m a little trypophobic, so I won’t be watching this.

If you don’t know what is trypophobia that is a fear of organic holes and the things that might come out of them; and being Diablo– nothing good is going to come out of this; but teasing enough…

This is the Rat king or the basic concept for it. That’s gross. You have seen gross stuff before, so it’s not a big deal. Yea, that’s pretty gross, fine.

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Alright. So here’s the model and this is the process by which we make these creatures. This is sort of a twisted natural creature that appeared in the world of Sanctuary.

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Long before demons became a problem for humans this was already a deadly world and then here our final version of the model that you play in the game.

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So a quick behind-the-scene story of how this monster actually plays before I get to the good part. This monster has antlers (that’s like twisted nature themed). He originally had a teleport attack and we changed in the demo on the showfloor.

He’s got a burrowing attack instead. So he comes out of his own organic hole before– I’m getting ahead of myself.

We checked that once you went into a borrowing attack the antlers really didn’t make sense and we took those off; and we will probably bring them back on another behavior later on; but this is the final model of the version you play in the game. So here is why he has to turn away.

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Cheng: I’m not looking.

Martens: Ok. What’s popping out of his back are slimy little albino rats. Every time you hit him, rats come out and attack you. Every time he sees you, he shakes his back and a whole bunch of slimey little rats come out and attack you. When you kill him, a whole nest of rats come out and attack you.

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And they are gross, and they are wet; and let’s get right to the gameplay video. This by the way, is a Rift Guardian: Hamelin the Rat King. Oh there are the rats. Oh my God! Rat tornado. Rat tornado. Right there in the middle.

Their tails are tied together. They are coming at you, watch out! This green ring keeps you trapped with Hamelin. You can only use your movement abilities to get out. Another rat tornado. Can our monk survive? And watch his back. Splat! … and that is where rats are born in the world of Sanctuary.

(Audience claps)

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Martens: So thank you. You know, I don’t know what’s wrong with us either. Ok, so you better kill him before he kills you because otherwise undignified things are going to happen.

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That’s very good. This is why we do the panel after lunch. So there are other monsters that we didn’t have ready for a playable state. Everything I just showed you can be played right now right over there.

The Yeti family is coming as well so Yeti is another monster from Diablo II that we liked and we are going to put our own Diablo III twist on these things and we will try not to be as gross as the other ones. But this is the monster we are working on right now back at the office and hopefully next time when we get together you will be able to fight these things in a build.

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Ok. Oh, hey! He made it. That took a while. Alright, Deckard Cain. Please report your official time, how long does it take to get to the Jeweler?

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Way too long. Ok that is more than fair, the good news is we fixed it in Act I everything is super close to the hub and the time portal.

(Audience cheers)

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It is no longer faster to go to Act III, do your shopping and come back to Act I anymore. So this is how long it takes to get to the Jeweler now. Ta-dah! magic. Alright. Ok. So of the stuff we showed today, what’s coming when and how … so again, Patch 2.1.2 is coming “very soon”– as a registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment.

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The treasure Goblins, all those treasure goblins are coming and maybe more. Season 2 will be there on PTR, with all the Conquests. We would like you guys to spend some time playing that as well as the new legendaries that are with that; and the new legendary gems, adventure mode improvements, everything we talked about with greater rifts and adventure mode is coming in Patch 2.1.2 and a little salve for poor, poor Cain.

In the future (as of yet unnumbered Patches) the Ruins of Sescheron will be coming. Our new monsters not just the ones there, not just the Yeti but more we can’t show today quite yet. A whole bunch of new legendaries and more stuff, more things, more features and so on.

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I notice that ancient item is missing off this list. That’s coming in Patch 2.1.2 as well. So tomorrow and today we have what we are calling the legendary workshop. This is working with you guys as our community to build a legendary together.

We have been already gathering ideas on twitter and so forth; and we have had two special things happening as well. At the community booth we are going to be looking for volunteers to come on stage and actually participate at a whiteboard– an actual whiteboard used for the legendary design at the office– with us on stage to design a legendary based on some of the ideas we are putting forward.

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Furthermore, at the community booth for the next hour, hour and twenty minutes after this: Wayatt and Travis Day one of our item designers will be at the booth accepting your ideas. So please come and give them.

They don’t have to be complete ideas, you don’t have to know what type of items it’s on. You just have to have an idea like: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Barbarian had a two handed weapon that was actually made of a monk in spiky armor who is just keeping his body rigid.

Cheng: Any ideas is fine. Over at the community booth.

Martens: Right, and so our job as designers and with our guest designers from the community we’ll be trying to turn those ideas into some sort of reality. Something we can actually get into the game in a future Patch.

And lastly, I want to say this has been a crazy journey for us, from before Diablo shipped will all this anticipation, the highs and lows of launch, all these patches, Reaper of Souls, etc.

You guys have been with us from the beginning. You have been very patient, very helpful. We spend a lot of time in this game. We put our hearts and souls in this. Thank you for being here and I hope you guys come tomorrow to the “Evolving Reaper of Souls.” We are going to show off a whole bunch of new legendaries and a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. Thank you.

(Audience cheers)

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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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