- Summary and commentary on System Changes by Jay Wilson Jan 19, 2012 9:00 AM PST on the official US D3 site.
Summary of upcoming Beta changes:
- Scrolls of Identification are no longer in the game.
- Moving the fifth quick slot button, which is becoming a dedicated potion button, to the right of the mouse button slots.
- Removing the Mystic artisan.
- Removing the Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube.
- The Blacksmith artisan will now salvage items.
- Stone of Recall is now Town Portal, and is integrated directly onto the skill bar UI.
- Common (white) items will no longer be salvageable.
- Changing core character attributes to Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality.
- Displaying character stats directly on the inventory UI.
Other info not mentioned in the official blog:
- Character wipe.
- General comments
I'm surprised at how much change Blizzard is willing to do at what is supposed to be the Beta stage of the game. This bucks tradition a bit, but game companies have been traditionally more risk-taking when it comes to software development. I just hoped Blizzard would have seen the need for some of these changes earlier in the process. The more change you make close to release (assuming it is still semi-close to release, aka a couple months) is taking on more risk.
Blizzard says repeatedly they want the game to be great even if it is perceived as late, so it makes me think Diablo III release could slip closer to late Spring 2012 (April or May), if this isn't the last of the dramatic changes.
- Scrolls of Identification removed
Not that Diablo II had a ton of immersion to begin with, but removing Identify Scrolls chips away at immersion. If they're willing to do this, they should remove Scrolls of Companion also.
- Moving the fifth quick slot button
I'm meh about this change. Wasn't really necessary, but if the '5' key slot is smarter and automatically detects the most useful potion for the class, I guess it's okay.
- Removing the Mystic artisan
Not sure what to think about this. I never got to use the Mystic artisan, so I guess I won't miss her, but I think too much stuff is being crammed into the Blacksmith. Actually, I've never gotten to use any artisans besides the Blacksmith, so maybe I just want to be able to use a different artisan.
- Removing the Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube
Never used the Cauldron of Jordan, so I won't miss it. I will miss the Nephalem Cube. Being able to clean out your inventory a little without
- The Blacksmith artisan will now salvage items
Personally, I preferred the Nephalem Cube method, but this will be OK. The Blacksmith UI will have to be looked at for streamlining or somthing though, because it is already pretty cluttered.
- Stone of Recall is now Town Portal
I'm fine with this. Opening up your inventory to use the Stone of Recall was kind of awkward to begin with.
- Common (white) items will no longer be salvageable
Not sure I really like this, now white items will be quickly unnecessary for anything else but selling in the game. When they were salvageable, there was at least a use for them past the first few levels. The gold value for white items may have to be increased or they will effectively be just wasting space.
- Changing core character attributes to Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality
These new core attributes suspiciously mirror World of Warcraft (WoW) attributes: Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Stamina. In WoW, Strength is the Warrior class primary attribute (and some Paladin specs) and will be the primary attribute for Barbarians. In WoW, Agility is the primary attribute of Hunters and Rogues, for D3 it will be Demon Hunters and Monks. Intellect is the primary attribute for casting classes (Balance/Resto Druid, Mage, Priest, Elemental/Resto Shaman, and Warlock) in WoW and for D3 it will be Witch Doctors and Wizards. The parallels are too striking to only be coincidence.
- Displaying character stats directly on the inventory UI
A good change and sensible. Again though, this seems to be making Diablo more like WoW as this was a change that happened in WoW already.