Blizzcon 2008

Blizzcon 2008
Blizzcon 08: Diablo 3 Game Design

Suzie Ford | 11 Oct 2008 12:50
Blizzcon 2008 - RSS 2.0

The second of the Diablo 3 discussion panels focused on Blizzard's game design. Lead Designer Jay Wilson did all the talking with Technical Game Designer Wyatt Cheng there for moral support.

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The Diablo 3 team, according to Wilson, spent time examining the successes and challenges in the first two Diablo games. From there, devs came up with several "true-isms" for D3:

  • Stay true to the series.
  • Provide amazing moment-to-moment action.
  • Expand players' RPG experience.
  • Add new systems such as the newly announced/overhauled run system.

To accomplish these 'true-isms', Wilson spent about a half hour outlining the four major goals for Diablo 3:

Replayable RPG

To make the game replayable, devs are focusing their attention on the best things from D1 and D2 such as random dungeons and loot, to name two. Environments, encounters, item drops, and dungeons will be highly randomized. The latter will be less 'generic' to give players the feeling that they're not in Kansas anymore every time they step into a dungeon.

Blizzard is also adding something new called 'adventures' which are randomly placed in the gaming environment and will change every time the game is played. Adventures can be placed anywhere at any time. Examples might be abandoned houses to explore, an evil cult to destroy, etc.

Epic Heroes

Blizzard honestly does understand the Diablo fanbase when they hand over powerful heroes and let them engage in epic combat. D3 will bring many opportunities to fight as many monsters as can be stuffed on the screen as possible and will give players the chance to feel, to quote Wilson, 'ludicrously powerful'. Large scale combat with buckets of goo flying around one's character can do that I'd say.

Make the Game Approachable

Just because a man designs games for a living doesn't mean his family shares his enthusiasm. Wilson let loose with a story about his wife and her, shall we say, lack of gaming prowess. However, "even she" could play Diablo 3. Wilson's words were, "If you can click a mouse, you can play D3."

Following in the grand tradition of the series, D3 will bring isometric game play, a deep gaming experience and a smooth difficulty curve back to fans. It's supposed to be easy on normal. And take heart: Nightmare, Hell and Hardcore will be returning as well.

Cooperative Play

Battle.Net has been redesigned from the ground up. The goal, according to Wilson, is to make it as simple as possible to find one's friends and literally jump into the game and almost literally in their back pocket.

Players will also have the opportunity to join massive cooperative battles with one another. The details on this were very sketchy but Wilson said that "more" will be announced soon.

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