Earlier this week, Jay Wilson, the director of Diablo III said he was leaving the title while still remaining at its publisher, Blizzard. There was a lot of cheering in the game's official forums, because video games are not that different from sports, where fans openly root for people to lose their jobs after a disappointing year. And Diablo III, whose development history stretched more than a decade, was dogged by technical problems, a dissatisfying endgame, and an always-on Internet requirement deeply resented by those most likely to shout their disappointment.
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Over the last couple of days I've briefly touched on Diablo III's new rune system, but after talking a bit with the game's lead can designer Jay Wilson I figured the system warranted it's own post. You see, while past games have featured items that augment the powers of your abilities, the massive scope of the rune system sets it apart.
When Blizzard announced the first two classes in Diablo III, the Barbarian and the Witch Doctor, at least one fan of the series was taken aback by the class rehash. That would be me, for the purpose of this post. After enduring such a long wait for the third Diablo installment, why resuscitate the Barbarian, when there are plenty of perfectly good fantasy game archetypes still left to explore?
Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson says the reason is simple. The Barbarian in Diablo II could've been better. He was a bit more diplomatic in his dissing, saying that the brute force attack class had "room for improvement".
When he's not taking the piss out of diehard Diablo II fans, Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson is all about classes (and probably other topics, but classes for now). In a chat with MTV Multiplayer, Wilson explains the exclusion of the Necromancer from D3's lineup, and the possibility of its return in the future.
"There's a lot of people on our team who aren't happy with our class choices", he admitted. "But after we've established 'Diablo III' as its own game with its own type of gameplay and experiences, I wouldn't be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there's room for him. We're looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we've got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road".
Wilson also mentions that the team wanted to avoid having an excessive number of classes, and that main reason the Barbarian made a return was because it felt they could bring something new to the character.
I can understand not wanting to cover the same ground twice, I just hope the push to come up with completely new classes and mechanics doesn't result in an overly convoluted design.
by Lesley Smith
Blizzard Entertainment President Mike Morhaime formally announced Diablo III during the WWI's opening ceremony this morning, not that this will come as a surprise to anyone with the Diablo III forums already active on the official Blizzard site and rumours running rampant for nearly a fortnight.
After recapping on the success of the previous Invitational held in Korea, Morhaime premiered a trailer and then demoed a level playing as a Barbarian and a Witch Doctor, showcasing some of the improvements over the original game as well as giving attendees a hint at what they can expect from the final product. This includes a new UI in place of the potion belt and the ability to play the game just by using a mouse. Similarly the health system has been augmented by God of War and Devil May Cry style red globes which replenish not just the health of the character but also those near by.