Archive for November, 2008

BlizzCast: Diablo 3 Q & A

If you’ve had the patience to listen the latest Blizzcast to the end, you would’ve been rewarded with three questions & answers from Jay Wilson, Diablo 3 lead designer/director. They deal with maps, deaths, and elixirs.


Will we be able to use the old overlay map instead of the mini-map?
Right now we don’t have any plans to do a fullscreen overlay. We really felt that the overlay was more there because the mini-map was not very usable as a small map. We feel like when you put that map and you cover it over the whole display it actually adds a lot of clutter but we are planning to do like a fullscreen map that just covers the whole screen so that you can kind of see an entire area like if want to check out if there are any areas of this dungeon that I haven’t explored yet, you can really see more of that. But right now we’re really focused on trying to make the mini-map is very usable at the size that it’s at and so we’ve put a lot of work and the maps are actually custom made. The ones in D2 were kind of auto-generated where as ours we literally we custom make every piece of it. We have an artist go through and draw out so we can make sure that they’re really visible and very usable and so far we’re finding that it’s working really well.


Will there be special player deaths in various situations? Like when the Siegebreaker bit the Barbarian in half during the gameplay demo.

Well what we want to do with that, especially for particular bosses is have when essentially when the player is very low on health and they’re about to die the boss essentially checks like when it attacks you, did I just do enough damage to kill you? And if so then instead of just doing his normal attack he’d actually play some kind of special I pick you up and eat you or I throw you up in the air and knock you around like a baseball or something like that. It’s a system that really our announcement video we tested it for the first time, mainly just to see – can we actually do this kind of animation interaction between the characters but the actual system itself is still not in there but we do plan to do that and that’s primarily where. We might do some other things, we’ve talked about physics based deaths we’ve talked about having the characters if they like die to a cold monster he might completely freeze solid into a statue and then shatter or things like that but we haven’t decided at this point if that’s exactly what we’re going to do.


During the gameplay video an “Elixir of Vitality I” dropped. Can you explain Elixirs and the benefits and roles they will play in Diablo 3?

Well right now elixirs are primarily to provide a short term benefit to the player. I can’t remember exactly how many off the top of my head, I think there’s maybe six different kinds of elixirs and they do things like give you health boosts or give you damage boosts, give you different stats, things like that. So whenever you find one you can essentially use it whenever you want to give you a short term buff. And then as you go through the game the ‘one’ indicates quality so the ‘one’ is kind of a low end, not very good item, it’s not bad – at low levels it actually makes a pretty big difference, at high levels it doesn’t matter that much but as you go through the game they become more and more powerful. So we have a variety of different kinds of items like that we have added in to give the player some interesting buffs. Some of them are something like that were it’s just a nice bonus to have, whereas some of them are actually game changing kind of things like you can fire them off in an emergency to be able to deal with a particularly tough encounter.

BlizzCast: Diablo 3 artwork

The new BlizzCast (#6) is out and there’s plenty of interesting info, especially about Starcraft 2. There’s also an interview with Anthony Rivero, Senior Character Artist on Diablo 3.

Most of the questions deal
with his work on Diablo 2 and the Lord of Destruction expansion. His claim to fame is Mephisto (Act III). Since doing Mephisto runs is how I spend my time in D2, you could say he’s my favorite artist. After all, I’ve seen Mephisto’s dying animation THOUSANDS of time.

So what is he doing in Diablo 3?

Bashiok: Are there any creatures that are announced that we can talk about that you’ve provided some modeling for or have contributed to?
Anthony: The female witch doctor’s heavy armor set, her look is my design and work.
Bashiok: That was seen at WWI, the large feather headdress look.
Anthony: Yes, yes. And the scavenger monster.

Hmm, I must confess his drawing sucks (see right). I like how the Witch Doctor as a 3D model though, so let’s say Tony is primarily a 3D artist.

Diablo comic book

Blizzard announced in their last newsletter that DC Comics are starting a comic book set in the WoW universe.

Frankly, I’m not sure I’d buy a book where the superhero is a female Tauren (a.k.a COW). What’s her special power? MOO power?

Anyway, I think a Diablo comic book will have longer legs. A Frank-Milleresque type of dark and contrasty comic book might work great.

The superhero ends up getting a new super skill (Death Ray) at the end of each book. Also, he loots rare swords or armor from the boss… Is that cool or what?

Diablo 3 Environments

A recent article at Gameriot has made a top 10 list of Diablo 3 environments.

The environments that they like are: deserts and wastelands, forests, ancient ruins, and corrupted regions. They didn’t like Hell (Act IV) and think it was done in a hurry with only two waypoints.

I tend to agree - Act IV seems a bit dull compared to the others. However, my list of worst environments is easily topped by the jungles of Kurast! The pygmies were a NIGHTMARE for my Ice Sorceress!

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