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1up's Diablo III Q&A

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1up's Diablo III Q&A

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 29 December 2008, 02:43:19

Tags: Diablo III

There are four pages of questions and answers about Diablo 3 over at 1UP. Here are two:

1UP: Can you elaborate on your "deeper combat" comment? What makes Diablo 3's combat deeper than its predecessors?

JW: Combat is as deep as the options the designers give themselves. Whenever you add a new capability to a monster -- potentially something that feels unbeatable -- it's more of an opportunity to expand the depth of your characters so they can respond to those threats. A good example would be if you look at Diablo 2: There were a couple of problems with just the power of the characters and the way they were made powerful. A player could run faster than any monster, so you could escape just about any threat. You had endless health and resource -- by resource, I mean mana -- because of potions. And you had the Town Portal, which could instantly get you out of any problem. Those were incredibly powerful mechanics to escape danger and were not class-specific. So every kind of class really had no need for anything like an escape skill or reactionary ability. They simply needed to attack, and if they ever got in over their heads, they simply ran away or drank potions. And it's the same response across the board.

So one of the things we focused on is that response -- 1) setting up scenarios where the players can't easily get out of danger without the use of class-specific skills, and 2) giving them really simple controls to use a broader range of skills without making the game that much more complex to play. I really distinguish the difference between complexity and depth; to me, complexity is adding more buttons, while depth is making a single button more powerful and versatile. So that's always been our goal -- reducing the amount of controls while making each button mean more. So that's one of the reasons we added the Hotbar; it's one of the reasons why we avoided the potion-health system. And when people play the game, they may not notice this next point that much, but we leveled out the movement speed somewhat so that the player moves at a more reasonable rate compared to the monsters.

1UP: Can you cite some specific scripted events that might pop up during a typical playthrough?

JW: We had a lot of them in our BlizzCon build. [In one of them, there was] a series of ghosts at an altar who were seeking an object that you'd get to prove your worth. If you did get it, then they would test you by having big powerful monsters attack you -- and if you passed, you got a nice reward. Another one was coming across some fellow adventurers stranded in a dungeon who'd need your help to get out. So there are a lot of different kinds of scenarios; you'd run into people who would need to be escorted or a caravan that's been stranded. And if you stick around and protect [the caravan] for a few minutes from [an attack] that would occur, you'd get a reward. Most of these are fairly optional, where the player can decide whether he wants to do them or not, but we try to reward them well and make them pretty fun. The biggest goal we have with these is that we want to change what the player is doing. Whenever you can basically take the core game and make the player play it in a slightly different way, it makes the game a lot more interesting and keeps it from being tedious. You go from "I'm killing monsters aimlessly" to "I'm now killing monsters to protect this thing." That's easily a more interesting scenario, because it's different than what you were doing, and that's our main goal with that.​
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