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Bashiok's forum posts/October 2008

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October 30, 2008 - Environmental Damage against a PlayerEdit

Can monsters or other players in PvP use environmental damage against you?

Right now if you knock down a wall on top of, or drop a chandelier on the head of someone in your party, it does damage/"daze" them. There's some potential issues with it, right now it's sort of just there because of the way those object interact with player characters as a whole. It's possible that due to exploitative or griefing potential they just can't continue to work that way. We'll see.

Enemies will destroy some/most destructible objects if they're in their way. Whether that may include actual damage dealing destructibles or not is probably more of a design decision on a case by case basis. We sort of want to reserve that for the player too I think, being able to damage enemies with the destructbles, but specific creatures that use the environment to their advantage are always cool.

October 16, 2008 - ImmunitiesEdit

We're looking at most players having an average of six "active"skills, these are your magic missiles, frost nova, electrocute (to use a few wizard examples), and because you're not just pumping up one single skill - and thus one single damage type, immunities become far less relevant. We're not going to do away with resistances, they still add something, but they're likely to be toned down a bit. Source.

October 16, 2008 - Blizzcon questionsEdit

Bashiok responds to a thread in which a forum goer asked for more information about Diablo III at Blizzcon.

Ummm... there are now killing sprees in Diablo 3. The more kills you get within a short time, the more bonus exp you get. This would be great if it worked in a group as well - so you could each take a room of mobs and share exp bonuses and stuff. I'm not sure if this was implemented or not at the demo.

Apparently it wasn't from what I heard, well at least it wasn't working, what ever that may figure out to be. While in a group it will give the bonus for everyone, as long as you've gotten some damage in to each enemy I believe. Also I think it's fair to say that we're looking to expand the system a bit.

Oh and when you level up you do massive AOE damage to monsters nearby, sending them flying across the room using the physics engine.

Yeah... the level up effect is just too awesome. It's fun to try to time it so that you're in a crowded room when you level. A huge flash of light, swirling effects, shockwave/explosion, and it literally decimates the enemies and environment around you. Chain them up with a few buddies and shake the pillars of heaven.
Hrm some other stuff... I'm not sure I saw anyone that noticed or at least mentioned the fog effects. Not that it's on-par with the rune system or some major feature... but in Tristram and the last level of the dungeon in the demo there's a low lying, about ankle-high blanket of fog laying around. As you walk through it the fog parts and swirls around. You have to see it in motion to appreciate it, but it's one of those little touches you see going in to the game on an almost weekly basis and you have to yell out THAT LOOKS AWESOME!

you read a scroll and the audio segment begins - but you can continue on bashing in skulls while the narration continues?

Yup. It also has a nifty pause/stop ability. It's not really built out as a full feature yet, but we wanted to give players a sense of different ways we're approaching lore. The "audio books" are a more obvious and easily conveyed one. Source.

And Re: the lore books and audio player:
Will the volume of the narration of these journals be loud enough (or perhaps scale in appropriate situations) to the gameplay sound? Maybe even turning down the volume of the gameplay just a bit so I can focus my hearing on the man/woman talking at me would be a big help in those huge fights.

Yeah we'll probably lower the sound of everything but the book while you're listening to one. That isn't in there now, but there'll have to be something like that. Source.

October 16, 2008 - No Q&A threadsEdit

Bashiok says he's leaning away from making Q&As like Karune does for Starcraft II:
I'm kind of hijacking the thread, sorry, but I was thinking about doing the Q&A's and the more I thought about them the less I like the idea for Diablo III specifically.
Everyone has their own style of how they want to get information out, I think I just prefer to be a little more in the mix and discussing things than putting out a list of answers. Also I think that style tends to lend itself to a game like StarCraft II a bit better since there's a lot more talk of very specific unit stats and balance, where Diablo would be based more around broad game systems and skills. Those types of things sometimes need a little back and forth.
What I am planning to do though is every couple weeks sort of gather up all the posts I've made, and maybe some stuff that's happened around the internets, and keep something like that updated and posted so if people want a single place to find information they can.
Right now I'm leaning away from the Q&A's. That could change later though.

October 13, 2008 - Stat allocationEdit

Bashiok answers the community's concern in regards to the automatic stat allocation.

First off thanks for writing this, it's awesome to see some indepth analysis offered in a reasonable tone. I'm sure there have been others on this same topic, but yours happened to catch my eye.

Jay Wilson, according to the interview, stated that this helps development on items as they will be able to predict the attributes of characters at certain levels and it puts more emphasis on items giving stat points for your attribute customization.

First let me state that the interview article has an error in that "You still get attributes, and they will still be required for equipment use" is incorrect. I've already let the guys know. There are no attribute requirements for items, that would essentially limit items to specific classes which we don't intend to do outside of actual class specific items, like the Wizard's off-hand orb for instance.

I can't think of anything else that could be considered positive, so lets go to the theoretical negatives.

You missed probably the biggest positive, and if you watch the video interview (from which the article was written) he goes in to it a bit. (
To quote Jay "For the most part attribute spending in Diablo II was a great way - when you didn't know how to play the game - to break your character. Most people didn't know where to put them and when they found out the answer was always kind of weird like "Put 5 points in Energy and then all the rest of the points in Vitality."
To expand on it a bit more when you don't know what you're doing you're essentially lost, and you sort of spend points how you think you might want to. When you finally have an idea of how a character should be built, stat distribution generally comes in the form of "this is exactly what you need for x build" and there's little variation. At that point it's pretty easy to remove that system and instead offload the potential build 'requirements' to something more interesting and something that's actually more engaging and fun.

The first problem that comes to mind is, character customization is exactly what made Diablo3's predecessors successful, and that's what is being hurt by the implementation of this mechanic as it takes away control from the player, essentially, dictating how they will develop their character. It was that aspect that had players coming back again and again over the years just to make a new build or try out something new and attributes were a BIG part of that.

Definitely agree. I'm going to give you a bit of a cop-out answer, but we have quite a few game systems we haven't even talked about. Those aside, I would argue that the rune system - something we have announced - adds quite a bit of customization, and in a more interesting way than attribute distribution.

The other aspect that quickly becomes apparent is the limitations of itemization for characters to use. What I mean is, because characters have pre-planned stats that when you reach the highest level, there will be item types that your character might not be able to use.
Hypothetical example; I think we can be fairly certain that the Wizard isn't going to be a strength based character by any means. If this is the case, late game, can we hope to be able to use upper tier heavy armor? If there is an item that might significantly benefit a build but is unachievable due to pre-allocated stat limitations, that is going to be severely detrimental to the game experience.

So as I already said the information in the article is incorrect, so happy happy joy joy this shouldn't be an issue at all.

It seems like a minor thing, maybe, but it's the little things that can break a great game.

I don't think it's minor at all, character builds and customization is a HUGE thing, and it's important you be concerned with it. It's important that we be concerned with it, and customization and differentiating one person from another is a pretty big deal. Being able to try different things with the same class is a pretty big deal.
At this point someone brings up that respecs are going to ruin wanting to replay the same classes over and over again, and you'd be right, if we weren't already thinking about it and potential solutions.

By shifting itemization focus slightly from more unique and compelling stats like +skills, crushing blow, open wounds, resists, faster cast rate, etc, it puts too much emphasis on stats, as they were already important in itemization before pre-allocated stats.

Hrm, I'll have to talk to the designers about this but I think you might taking a little bit too much Diablo II experience and overlaying it on Diablo III. Itemization and stat distribution and their relative balance of attributes to unique stats (as you put it) is a bit of a stretch at the moment. I'll see what they have to say though.
Hopefully I've clarified something at this point, the error in the article seemed to be a decent piece of many people's ire over the situation so I hope that helped. Now, just to read the rest of the thread... and the hundreds of others that have built up.

October 7th, 2008 - Monster infightingEdit

Bashiok responded to a thread about monster fighting each other:
It would be naive to think that with all of the creatures, demons, and monsters in the world of Sanctuary that they'd all purely be concerned with killing you and you alone. Source deleted.

"Wow thats awesome. So they can actually fight each other?"
Not without reason... Source deleted.

October 7, 2008 - User InterfaceEdit

Bashiok responded to a thread about the new inventory interface:
We have an awesome UI guy (Mike Nicholson) who is constantly iterating on the interface. Right now it has a lot of the core pieces of what we want, but it's still being worked on fairly heavily. Specifically regarding item images and being able to see the artwork - being able to reach a happy medium between single slot and having nice big item images is something we're striving for. Source deleted.

October 2, 2008 - Naked Witch Doctor and Skull of FlameEdit

Bashiok comments on one of the recently released screenshots:
It's a "naked" female witch doctor, she's twisting around to her right on a wind up of a skull of flame cast (previously called fire bomb). I don't think that's the most interesting part of the screenshot though.
Source deleted.

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