Blizzard Still Busily Mucking About With Diablo III's Core Systems

Is Diablo III coming to consoles? That's not a question Blizzard's going to answer until they finish the PC version, and judging by today's letter from game director Jay Wilson, they've still got quite a ways to go. While we eagerly await the release, developers are still figuring out the game's core systems.

The Diablo III Blizzard eventually releases on the PC will be significantly different than the one we played in beta last year. That should come as no surprise to anyone that's attended the past three BlizzCon conventions, witnessing the game's metamorphosis from year-to-year. In a post on the official Diablo III website today Jay Wilson detailed a rather significant list of changes being implemented.

For example, they're taking identify scrolls out of the game completely. Rather than having to cast the identify spell from a disposable scrolls every time you come across an unknown magical item, you simply click it, wait for a short timer to run out, and discover its properties. If it's going to be that easy they should simply remove unidentified objects from the game altogether, but I'm not a game designer and don't pretend to understand their mindset.

Other changes include the removal of the Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube, two objects that allowed players to salvage and sell items while still in dungeons. While convenient, Blizzard felt the objects removed the need to head back to town on a regular basis. Now players will once more have to hop out, sell their items (or have the blacksmith salvage them for crafting components) and hop back in.

They're also removing three attributes from the game in order to make statistics easier to comprehend. defence, Attack, and Precision are cut, with armour taking over for defence and +Crit Chance in place of Precision. This leaves the four core attributes — Strength, Dexterity, Intellect and Health — a much easier-to-understand lineup.

It feels rather late in the game for Blizzard to be making such sweeping changes, but that's where the company's "When it's done" release policy kicks in. As Wilson says in his post, it's not just about getting a game on the shelves; it's about getting a game on the shelves that will stand the test of time.

We want Diablo III to be the best game it can be when it launches. To get there, we're going to be iterating on designs we've had in place for a long time, making changes to systems you've spent a lot of time theorycrafting, and removing features you may have come to associate with the core of the experience. Our hope is that by embracing our iterative design process in which we question ourselves and our decisions, Diablo III won't just live up to our expectations, but will continue to do so a decade after it's released.

Systems Changes [Diablo III]


    I'd say 'the mod community will fix this' but running mods will get you banned from even in single player so.......

    More news about D3, and yet again its dissapointing again.
    Every announcement they have made has been to dumb down gameplay.

    Bring on Torchlight 2 I say!

    The removal of the identify scroll makes perfect sense, as a game device it's practically just a timewaster... They're so cheap you just buy dozens of them, really, what is the point?

    The lack of Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube however will be a pain in the ass, they're requiring you to go back to town more often, therefore removing you from the action for longer periods of time... Only advantage there is I may not get carried away and when I return to town I'll probably log off for a while.

    The changes to the Core attributes really make it sound a lot like Torchlight, so I'm all for that!

      I think returning to town provides better pacing. At the moment, you keep playing until that 'fast pace fatigue' kicks in. This will give the player a chance to pause and take a breath.

    These sound like great changes to me.

    I found the sell-from-dungeon mechanic in Torchlight somehow unsatisfying. Returning to town with your loot and taking a brief respite from the hellspawn below is a really important part of the rhythm of Diablo for me.

    And one of the best things about a loot game is the "what will I find next", the scavenger instinct. Seeing different coloured text on an item, only a hint of how rare it is, but no idea of what it is yet - this is another key aspect of Diablo for me. A small timer seems like a great idea.

      I agree, the changes sound like it will keep D3 more true to the series.

      it's important to return to town for a breather and re-stock on supplies, plus it really doesnt make sense to be able to sell stuff in the dungeon. it just means you pick up EVERYTHING and sell it all, rather than thinking "hmm my inventory is full and ill need to chuck something out because im not ready to go to town yet"

        But when it comes down to it i prefer ease of use rather than realism. Selling gray items and using consumables to identify items are just stuff that annoys people.

        I doubt theres a lot of people that say "I love it when i run out of bagspace and have to run back to town to sell my gray items!" or "I love it when i have to save space so i can bring the 'tome of take me home' and the 'tome of what does that thing do'.

        Get rid of those and let us worry about what manner of creature(s) lurks at the next intersection...not how many bagspace i have left cause i just looted that massive gray battleaxe.

    I agree with removing the Identify scrolls, they were annoying when you didn't have them at the start of the game, then they just took up space until you had Cain back in town, then you either use a town portal any time you wanted to identify everything, or waste a few valuable inventory slots on scrolls you don't care about.

    If I was them I'd consider canning the town portal scrolls too (if they haven't already). Give you the ability to summon a town portal but with a 2 second casting time. That'd make quick escapes harder, but the prepared adventurer wouldn't have to worry about wasting inventory slots. Cast outside of battle, run in and kill things.

      Well there hasn't been town portal scrolls in the game for over a year. what they did have was the stone of recall, but withh all these changes it has also been changed into a button that simply says 'town portal' and can be used whenever with a short time (not 2 seconds short, but short)

    God damn it Blizzard, come on. Every day I log on for that amazing moment when you give us a date, every dy I am disappointed. You are making my heart and computer very sad.

    You still need unidentified items in the game regardless of what mechanism you use to identify them. Unidentified rares/uniques have a market value to other players and is an excellent means of making gold/cash. Removing unidentified items would kill this. = /

    Heck Yes! 4 attributes are all diablo needs, none of this stat-mongering MMO stuff. Although removing the scroll is an interesting play.

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