Diablo was a great example of a game where, I think this started with Ultima Online, where people would sell real in-game items on eBay for large amounts of money. Will they still be able to do that?
That's a tricky one, and I don't know ultimately what the answer is going to be for Diablo 3
yet. I can talk a bit about the in-game item economy, we want to do something with that's closer to the Diablo 2
approach, rather than World of Warcraft
. World of Warcraft is what I'd call a deterministic item economy, and what that means is the very best items in the game are soulbound on pickup, and those items drop deterministically off of certain monsters in the game. So if you want to get the War Glaives off of Illidan, he's the only guy that drops them, and you have to be in a group that is strong enough to take him down.Diablo
has more of a merchant economy, because none of the items have soulbound tags or anything else, and all of the items are completely random. So that means there's a low chance that you're going to successfully get the best item in the game just from playing, since it's kind of a slot machine. So generally, you'll have to interact with other players to get the best items. I think we'll have an item system that's more like that than the WoW one. Now, as far as how that interacts with the virtual / real money transfer sort of economy, I'm not sure how we're going to handle that yet. We definitely want to preserve the in-game economy over an out of game one, but we're just starting to talk about those issues now.Is there anything specifically you're not looking to repeat from the previous two games?
There's a lot of things, I think a great example is the health globe system we're putting in Diablo 3
. In Diablo 2
you could just head back to town, fill up your inventory with potions, and use those on the fly with no sort of cooldown, right? It ended up being a frustrating interface, and you had to use up half your inventory just to have these things. But they had a really positive effect too, in that they kept the action moving at a really fast pace. In World of Warcraft
, we intentionally put things like cooldowns in the potions, because we actually want players to have a bit of downtime after fighting a long time because it's a more social game. We wanted to give people more time to talk and chat more.
"We want to get rid of this weird potion-spanding, "fill up your inventory" kind of behavior. So we put in a potion system that's a little more like WoW."
is kind of action to the hilt, so we want to keep the action going, but we want to get rid of this weird potion-spanding, "fill up your inventory" kind of behavior. So we put in a potion system that's a little more like WoW
, so you still have potions but you can't use them very often, so they're kind of for emergencies, and in return we made it so that monsters drop health globes fairly often. As long as you're killing monsters at a fast pace, you can keep on regenerating your health and it keeps the action moving. It's a system that we developed by looking at a lot of first person shooters out there that don't have medkits anymore, they just kind of have a shield health system, like Halo
or Call of Duty
. Hey, if they can do it, what can we do in an action RPG that makes sense for us but can keep a similar sort of pacing?
That's a long-winded explanation of a specific example, but that's the approach that we take. The new Skill system is another good example.Will there still be PVP in the game? I remember leaving town in the first game and instantly dying.
Well, that was Diablo I
, in Diablo 2
I think in some ways we went too far in the other direction. Diablo I
was pretty much survival of the fittest, like the Wild West... almost like the original Ultima Online
, since you used that reference. Diablo 2
we made it so that PvP in a lot of ways almost died. I think we need to come up with a happy medium in Diablo 3
, it's a system that we're talking about quite a bit right now.Both Diablo 1 and 2 had expansions, is it safe to say Diablo 3 will have one as well?
I would imagine. I mean, we're not to the point where we are planning stuff like that. But, assuming the game is really popular and people want more content, I'm sure we'd give them some expansions to it.The demo that we've been playing at BlizzCon, would you release it anywhere else?
I think this is the only place we're going to show it. We'll probably do something similar for a future show, but we're definitely not going to release it on the internet or anything like that. I'm sure it will have a beta at some point.The Skill Trees in the demo, are those pretty final or are they evolving?
They're definitely evolving, although it's towards the end of the development but I'm sure it will change a bit as time goes on.