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BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III panels touch upon consoles, Book of Cain, gameplay, random dungeons

Saturday, 22 October 2011 21:49 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Blizzard held Diablo III panels today at BlizzCon, which focused on the lore in the RPG, and well as the game’s Auction House, gameplay mechanics, skills, and crafting.

Random Dungeons

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the panel Q&A, one interesting thing noted, was that the majority of dungeons in Diablo III will be random – something mentioned briefly during BlizzCon 2010.

“A change from Diablo II to Diablo III, is that there’s quite a bit more story moments in the dungeons themselves, so in a completely random dungeon, as in one that rolls randomly out in the world, very often you’ve got a unique entry point, say the Isle of Ragnar,” offered lead content designer Kevin Martens.

“There’s a guy named Boltar who’s a treasure hunter, he gets into these old ruins and can’t get through on his own. So it’s an escort mission, and it concludes at the end on it’s own. There’s random dungeon in between, but there’s a set starting location and a set final room and the question concludes.”

“In other locations, like you’ll see in beta, we have some levels that have very little randomness, like the Templar levels. You acquire the Templar on that level, he’s got his little story moments and an open room, but even in there we have some randomness in between the start and the final room.”

Angels and the Book of Cain

During the panel, VP of creative development Chris Metzen announced that an eight page preview of the Book of Cain, which is full of Diablo III backstory, lore and art, has been released online by the book’s publisher, Insight Editions.

According to Metzen, the team at Blizzard was in need of a way to streamline the various stories and plots in the Diablo universe, as it was developed across numerous writers, games and books. As the team delved deeper into Diablo III development, the need to organize new ideas and concepts was great in order to build continuity in the game. Thus, the idea of the Book of Cain was born.

While those who read Book of Cain will not come across any major world changes, some have been made to the lore, and Metzen hoped some of the purests wouldn’t get too upset. Other goodies of note in the book, and the game, will have an extended focus on the Angels and not just the Demons. The Diablo universe is an eternal conflict between High Heavens and Burning Hells over the Worldstone , so it only made sense to include both sides.

In Diablo II, Angels were in control over Pandemonium, where the Worldstone, also known as The Eye of Anu, exists. It can be used to create worlds without end, and control over the Worldstone is ultimately the reason behind the war between the High Heavens and Burning Hells.

Different sides hold the area over different times, as the Angels and Demons power waxes and wanes, and the different forces will build over time and in a larger capacity than in Diablo II.

The lore panel went on to discuss the various Angels present in the lore, and how each one relates to the World of Sanctuary, and the Demons were touched upon as well.

New areas to Sanctuary

Metzen went on to show off new areas for Sanctuary, such as Caldeum, the Jewel of the East, where a child emperor rules from the throne and struggling for survival.  Lucky for him, the mercenary group from Diablo II, the Iron Wolves, were protecting him for a bit alongside the Zakarum priests, but now the former have been kicked out of the palace and replaced by new guards.

Caldeum is also the “trading center of the world,” and the hub has three major groups making their home there, each vying for a slice of power in some way shape or form. The town will have its rich and poor areas.

The Dahlgur Oasis, a farming region for Caldeum and rich with water, was also shown, full of palm trees, and it contrasts with the harsh desert areas players will encounter in Act 2 of the game.

Blizzard went on to say in the panel that areas seen in Diablo II won’t be visited again, as Diablo III consists of almost all new areas.

“We started in new Tristram to set the early tone and theme and memory. And for new players it brings in the history,” said Martens. “But while events are in the regions as the same, but the levels are different. Same with the Barbarian lands around the Arreat Crater. Same, but changed so much it’s not recognizable.”

If you are a major Diablo lore buff, you’ll want to read over the transcript posted on IncGamers.

The Auction House

During a panel on gameplay, lead designer Jay Wilson touched briefly upon the game’s Auction House.

According to Wilson, auctions have been tweaked for use of both Smart and Advanced searches, and player will be able to purchase and sell items like.

Gold, gemstones, pages, crafting items, and dyes were just some of the examples highlighted as stackable goods.

Working on a console control scheme

While there is still no official word on a console version of Diablo III, Wilson did speak a bit about the potential behind the possibility. According to him, the team’s new hires looking into a console version, are testing how the controls would be implemented.

“The movement actually feels better on the controller,” Wilson said, and admitted that at the moment, “targeting is the issue,” being faced. Apparently, most of the schemes derived for choosing what to attack and loot require a reticule, which is something the team is not very fond of doing.

“Monster distribution and AI also feels a little bit different than it does on the PC version,” Wilson admitted.

Wilson said Blizzard “want to announce,” a console version until “we’re sure,” because “if it goes on a console,” it can’t compromise the PC game in any way, and should “feel like it was built for the console.”

Crafting

As mentioned on more than one occasion since announced, crafting items in Diablo III will be preformed by three different Artisan NPCs.

The crafters will create items with a longer lifespan than ones put together in Diablo II, and will be able to create, enhance, and salvage items which you can then sell in the Auction House.

Here’s the crafters and what each one does, courtesy of G4:

The Mystic: The Mystic enchances items, those enhancements are random, but they can help you create aberrant builds, like a Demon Hunter with a one-handed shield and an axe (no ranged weapons. The Mystic also have 10 levels that they can advance through.

The Jeweler: The jeweler can combine gems (there are 14 different ranks of gems), add sockets to items, and can remove gems from items, allowing you to change armor and weapons dramatically. The Jeweler also levels up as you progress.

The Blacksmith: The Blacksmith can craft items from the raw materials you provide to them, and can eventually even create Legendary and Unique set items from recipes.

Skills and difficulty levels

Skills will be more visual this time out, according to G4.

For example, Demon Hunters will have a bat which flies alongside and fights enemies. With the Barbarian , the class can summon the Ancients from Diablo II with the Call of the Ancients skill. The Ancients will fight with the Barbarian in a spectral form.

Enemies have been given visual skill revamps as well. One such change is the Goat Shaman who’s lightning shield can will reflect damage back onto you, or summon giant worms from the ground which will swallow you whole and spit you back out with extra damage dealt.

Blizzard is also looking to revamp players ability to swap skills, which would result less hot-swapping during combat.

As far as the game’s difficult level is concerned, Normal is the lowest level available. So, no “easy” mode.

Act I of the game will be the tutorial, where the monsters present have a low attack rate and awareness level. Also, in Normal mode, 70% of the game’s in-game items won’t be available – so this is something you may wish to consider when choosing a difficulty level.

Player abilities will also be limited in Act I, but as the Acts progress, the areas and the monsters will be more challenging.

As each difficulty progresses, and challenges get harder, by the time players reach Hell, Rare and Champion monsters will have up to four different powers.

Since the game also contains various customization options, there are many, many builds available in the game. Blizzard said at present, there are over 2.8 trillion possible in the game.

The studio also mentioned that followers will be end-game viable, which should make those who prefer to play solo, rather pleased.

Check out all the links in the post for more information.

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6 Comments

  1. Sini

    normal is the new easy, so casuals can feel better about themselves now.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. ultramega

    I dunno. Still more pumped for Torchlight 2 at this point. We shall see how this transpires though…

    #2 3 years ago
  3. kiyoe

    I won’t read any sentence related to diablo3 anymore unless it includes the words “release date”…

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Maximum Payne

    @3 Haha true true.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Talkar

    @3
    When it is done (TM) xD

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Mystic Sage

    I pray they find a way to Port this to Consoles I would love to play this game and support it. Diablo III on consoles would be EPIC

    #6 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]