• published the article AusGamers Interview - Co-operative Gameplay
    AusGamers interviewed Jay Wilson at Leipzig GC some time ago and posted the transcript recently. In this interview Jay talks about co-operative gameplay, more item drops per player than in Diablo II, how Blizzard is dealing with cheating in Diablo III from the ground up. Jay commented the same team that dealed with cheating in Battle.net programming-wise for Diablo II also worked on Starcraft II and World of Warcraft. This team has learned a lot since Diablo II.

    With Diablo III, the developers have started development differently than the Starcraft II team has done with the RTS game. In Starcraft II, the game was created with Multiplayer in mind, first. Then the Single Player got started afterwards. As of the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris, we were told there that Starcraft 2 Single Player was 1/3 done.

    Diablo III, by the other hand, has been built from the ground up as a Single Player game at the core, but co-operative gameplay is enabled by default in the single player version.

    Jay closes the interview hinting that there are pretty awesome features in Diablo 3 that haven't been announced yet. Read the full interview.
    Jay: Well one of the things we’ve carried over is the way the general co-op features work,. When you’re playing the game you can have another player jump into your game any time so it’s very dynamic - the game adjusts automatically to the number of players who are there. One of the ways we’ve really improved that is what I like to say is our prime directive is “thou shall do no harm to the co-operative game” - something that Diablo 2 didn’t really follow.

    They liked the idea that players can compete against one another while being co-operative. But I think - while a noble experiment - it mostly proved to make players not like each other and not want to play together. The average game size on battle.net in Diablo 2 games is 1.2 players - which basically means almost everyone is playing games by themselves. One of the main reasons is “why would you want to play with someone else?” They can go hostile at any time and kill you, mostly in an exploitive way and it’s not like it’s a fair fight - you’d probably be dead before you even noticed they went hostile; there’s a good chance they’ll steal all your loot so you won’t get anything good and it just makes the game a little bit harder so why would you want to play that way?
    Posted in: AusGamers Interview - Co-operative Gameplay
  • published the article BlizzCon - Pick the Best Diablofans Questions
    As mentioned a few days ago, five Diablofans staff members are going to BlizzCon: Mockery, Umaro, Thasador, Silversurfnstud and Medievaldragon. A thread was opened to collect questions from fans to ask the developers.

    I am traveling on Wednesday, October 8th -- I am not able to say why so early, but you can take your guesses. I will be able to forward some of the questions in private, and some of the questions live on the Diablo III Q&A panels.

    Here is what we need you to do. This time around, the community can work together and help to decide which questions are best qualified.

    1. Open Notepad or any text editor

    2. Simply list the best 10 questions from the following closed thread which contains 102 posts.

    3. At the right of each selected question type the post # and the name of who submited the question.

    By Monday evening, I will streamline and pick what the concensus was with the best 20 questions. I will report what these were and double check again with you. By Tuesday, I will have the final questions.

    Make sure to check up Diablofans through Wednesday, October 8-11. Any of the staff going to BlizzCon will be updating with info, images and video. However, the important part is that those who watch DIRECTV live or the live stream from WCRadio or other livestreams can listen to the Diablo III Art panel, Lore Panel, etc. And at the end we will have the Q&A Panel.

    If I get my hands on a laptop, I will post official Q&A panel threads to grab questions based on what was told in the early panels, and the five of us might have a shot at asking One or two questions each to the developers.

    See you at BlizzCon.
    Posted in: BlizzCon - Pick the Best Diablofans Questions
  • published the article Diablo 3 Scavenger
    The Diablo 3 website has been updated with a new bestiary unit: The Scavenger. One of the Diablo 3 demonic creatures in Diablo 2 is hinted to have been a transformed version of the Scavenger. They attack as a group and are swift as seen in the screenshot.

    The Scavenger is the creature inside the cage mentioned in the Dune Thresher tale. The hunter unleashed three of these Scavengers into the sand as bait for the Dune Thresher. They dug out of the Dune Thresher's stomach, before dying to the intestinal acid, effectively killing the Dune Thresher.

    Sounds like you will need a few stamina potions to outrun these pestering menaces. eh?

    The Diablo 3 website has also been updated with seven new screenshots

    Thanks, AlaskanFireDragon
    Posted in: Diablo 3 Scavenger
  • published the article BlizzCon -- Submit your questions
    Countdown to Blizzcon. We are merely 9 days away from BlizzCon. I am traveling to California on Wednesday, October 8th. Take your guesses why.

    So here is the official share your Diablo III questions for the developers. Please, let's keep it simple. No art direction questions, that's a theme deeply covered in the past months.

    Focus on the different aspects of Diablo II, and the info that has been made available on the website, past interviews and Bashiok's reports.

    I won't be able to ask all the questions, but before I leave I can try to get a concensus from all fans on which are the best 10-15 questions. These will be asked in private before BlizzCon.

    I will have access to internet on the press room, and will probably gather more questions during the panels to ask developers live on the panel Q&As.

    So that you know, Umaro, Mockery, Thasador, Silversurfnstud and me are heading to Blizzcon. We will bring as much coverage as possible with video cameras and digital cameras. I will also grab one of the press media kits to show you. Each of us will be updating from BlizzCon either on the news section or at the Diablo 3 section. So keep your eyes open through October 10-11th.

    This might or not be my last work here. Time will tell. For now, I will do my best to represent the community along with Diablofans staff.

    Start thinking good Diablo 3 questions that may benefit the community as a whole.
    Posted in: BlizzCon -- Submit your questions
  • published the article Diablo 3 Update On Thursday, Oct. 2
    According to Bashiok (source), a new Diablo 3 website update is due on Thursday, October 2. In this new update, fans will find out what was inside the cage as told in the Dune Thrasher tale.

    This might be the last website update until BlizzCon. And if you were living under a rock, BlizzCon is in 10 days. (October 10-11th)
    Posted in: Diablo 3 Update On Thursday, Oct. 2
  • published the article No Gunslinger Class in Diablo 3
    Recently, Jay Wilson said in an interview that fans of the Diablo franchise would hate Blizzard once the announcement of one of the five classes was made at BlizzCon. To this, a fan expressed at the Battle.net forums with certainty that the next class that would make us hate Blizzard uses guns. Nothing but speculation.

    To this Bashiok responded with humor, but the bottomline is there is no guns planned for Diablo 3. You can settle down. For now.
    Well, you have to realize that it's been 20 years, and in technological terms that can be a very long time. We're trying to create a world that's not static, its filled out, and with that it's an advancing world. With that amount of time, and also the loss of the Arreat Summit much of the remaining barbarian culture has focused on... nah I'm just kidding, there aren't any guns. -- source
    Post your comments at the following thread where this topic is being discussed. Heads up by Atrumentis and Vadoff.

    Posted in: No Gunslinger Class in Diablo 3
  • published the article Diablo II & LOD Digital Download
    Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction are now available as a digital download from the Blizzard store in USA and Europe. A good solution to those who have lost their original CD, as you get unlimited downloads.

    Posted in: Diablo II & LOD Digital Download
  • published the article Diablo III Monsters Breakdown @ PlanetDiablo
    Acolyte from PlanetDiablo sends heads up about their breakdown on 21 monsters that have already been revealed in Diablo III media. This can be informative to some fans who have missed some of the interviews or media.
    Standard Monster Classes
    Below you will find a listing of all known monster classes in the game, progressively growing as more information is released, explaining features that offer distinction to other enemies.
    Each monster class has a set of types within it, the Dark Cultist class containing types such as the Dark Summoner and Dark Vessel. These different types have distinct statistics in terms of hit points, resistance levels, and special abilities. Additionally, each type is generally found in distinct areas of the game, later varieties naturally becoming better equipped to take down your hero or heroine.

    As one might expect, Diablo III comes loaded with a large variety of demonic, undead, and animal-based foes serving the desires of evil. A number of these monster classes return from previous games in the series, while others act as spiritual successors; the Gnarled Walkers are an excellent example following in the root-steps of Thorned Hulks. Of course, the game is host to many new monsters like the Dune Thresher.
    Posted in: Diablo III Monsters Breakdown @ PlanetDiablo
  • published the article Diablo 3 Item Grace Period & Alt Key
    Bashiok shared a bit of info about the visuals and mechanics behind looting items. It is a change from the norm in Diablo II. You will still need to press down the Alt key to see all loot within the screen, but loot title will be displayed the moment it drops and fade after five seconds. If find this quiet helpful. Sometimes in Diablo II, something would drop, and you wouldn't notice. Specially when using AOE spells that kill mobs far away, while you are still killing mobs closer to you. It is easy to miss something that drops unless you hit the alt key.

    Visually alerting you of items that drop anywhere onscreen, is a very welcome feature.
    The way it works now is that when an item drops the name shows for about 5 seconds and then they fade out and disappear. Pressing Alt shows all dropped item names for again about 5 seconds and then the names fade out and disappear.

    I actually didn't like it at first, I liked the on/off state of pressing or not pressing Alt, but with the names showing immediately after drop and having a sort of "grace period" after just tapping Alt, it's really grown on me and is a lot more intuitive. It's a lot easier to see what just dropped quickly and decide if you care, and it isn't necessary to constantly hold down Alt while scavenging after a large fight.

    I still want to see -nopickup return but I haven't really asked anyone what the possibility of that is. I don't think it would work well with the current system, so options may have to be a possibility.
    -- source: Battle.net

    Thanks, Lyquid
    Posted in: Diablo 3 Item Grace Period & Alt Key
  • published the article Diablo 3 Bestiary: Dune Thresher
    As Bashiok hinted recently on the Battle.net forums, Blizzard has updated the Diablo 3 Official website with a new Bestiary unit: the Dune Thresher. Images and animations may be found here.
    The Diablo 3 Bestiary now features a new creature from the realm of Sanctuary: the terrifying Dune Thresher.

    As I was preparing to set pen to paper to begin recording my thoughts at the beginning of my epic undertaking to gather the world's knowledge together in one tome, the hand of providence tapped me on the shoulder. The news that a rogue burrower had killed a citizen just outside the city gave me the wonderful opportunity to see firsthand one of the more disturbing creatures we share this world with – the savage dune thresher.

    Check out the new entry now!

    We've also expanded the media galleries with four new pieces of artwork and four new screenshots.


    As I was preparing to set pen to paper to begin recording my thoughts at the beginning of my epic undertaking to gather the world's knowledge together in one tome, the hand of providence tapped me on the shoulder. The news that a rogue burrower had killed a citizen just outside the city gave me the wonderful opportunity to see firsthand one of the more disturbing creatures we share this world with – the savage dune thresher.

    Long ago driven away from settled locales to the deep desert wastes of the Borderlands, the dune thresher is rarely seen by city dwellers. Every so often, however, whether due to injury or old age, one of these unholy beasts ventures to the edge of civilization to feast on the frail human animal. When this happens, a professional like Franklin Burroughs, the famed guide and hunter, is called in to put an end to the threat.

    Fortunately, Burroughs and I, both being men of travel and adventure, have naturally crossed paths before (frequent readers of my works will no doubt remember this grizzled, rough-hewn boulder of a man from my classic, Xiansai Chronicles). Thus, I contacted him so that I was able to take part in his quest to rid us of the burrowing nightmare. He acted reluctant at first, but I could tell he was happy to have me along.
    Thanks, AlaskanFireDragon
    Posted in: Diablo 3 Bestiary: Dune Thresher
  • published the article Diablo 3 Havok Physics - Part Two
    Bashiok shared some details straight from Lead Tech Artist Julian about what they are doing with the Havok Physics engine. This is a clear sign that Blizzard is listening to fan feedback this early in the Diablo III development. Big kudos to Bashiok and Julian.
    Bashiok: Our lead tech artist Julian and I talked a bit yesterday about some of the effects and fading, and he gave me some more insight as to how they're working and being changed. We also went in to some of the questions you've all brought up, and so I'll hit some specific points too (with quotes!).
    Q u o t e:
    or just disconnecting corpses from the physics engine when they come to rest, and have them fade out
    Bashiok: Aside from my previous comment of this not being nearly as fun (it would also look/feel kind of lame), Havok already knows when an object has come to rest and so they already have a lower cost when they're still. Additionally with the proposed method there is no reliable way to determine when or even if a body will come to rest. In a single player game with a class that maybe doesn't use a ton of skills that interact with corpses in a significant way this could work, but in a multiplayer game there could potentially be hundreds of corpses piling up as they've never come to rest due to all of the player skills firing off.

    We're also taking extra care to minimize the ability of a player to impact the performance of another player, as was sometimes maliciously done in Diablo II.
    Q u o t e:
    I am wondering why you just use an object's age and don't specify a complexity and priority attribute for each object. By combining these two with the age method you would be able to fade out highly complex physics and low priority (tiny) objects earlier.
    BashiokI'm just going to quote Julian from an e-mail at this point so I'm not rewriting his words and acting like I know what I'm talking about here - "Because most objects in the game that use the age method aren't different enough in anatomical complexity for this to yield significant benefits. The size of objects generally isn't a factor. It is the number of unseen physics meshes that the technical artists add to these things that matters and they tend to be pretty similar from actor to actor. This is largely due to the anatomical similarity of living things in nature..."

    Most things have appendages, a back bone, head, etc.

    Julian also made the point that while we have our new system for determining the number and age of a physics actors, we still have the old tried and true "disappear after n seconds" method. We can actually choose which actors use which system, so our intent is to make sure that a destroyed table won't make a corpse disappear, for instance. The corpse probably being the more important of the two to keep around.

    Quite a few of you were discussing options, sliders, ways to control how long something takes to disappear, etc. and that may be a possibility. The current setting, which is around 20, is just our initial implementation. There's always the possibility for that number to change, or for it to potentially be variable by the player. We do want to keep the game options uncluttered and consistent as much as possible though. -- source: Battle.net
    Thanks, Djinn_690
    Posted in: Diablo 3 Havok Physics - Part Two
  • published the article Warcry Interviews Artist Ben Boos
    Warcry got a three-pages interview with Ben Boos, ex-Blizzard North artist. He drew some early sketches of Diablo III before departing. It is interesting to those who seek a job opportunity with Blizzard. He reveals he met Max Schaefer at the Blizzard North booth in the Game Developer's Convention. All it takes is to approach someone from Blizzard with the best of your work. Doors can open. Make sure to bring your work and a resume at BlizzCon on October 10th. From the interview we learn that Michio Okamura was the creator of the original character design of Diablo. Ben Boos published a book full of sword illustrations. Make sure to check it out at your favorite bookstore.
    WC: Could you please introduce yourself for the WarCry community?

    Ben: Greetings! My name is Ben Boos. I'm an author and illustrator with a past in game development. I spent nearly 8 years in the trenches at Blizzard North during a fabulous time of that company's history. Then I took the adventure a step further: I leaped and pursued a crazy dream.

    For the last several years I've been pouring my heart into the crafting of a book that I hope gamers will like. It's called SWORDS: An Artist's Devotion, published by Candlewick Press. My crazy dream has now come true; thoughts have turned into things, and now the book has released! I can't tell you what I'm going through. WooooHooo! It's a very scary, exciting time. So hello everyone! Sorry I'm freaking out; it's awesome to be here!
    Posted in: Warcry Interviews Artist Ben Boos
  • published the article Diablo III Physics: Blood and Corpses
    Bashiok talked more details of Diablo III blood and corpse management and performance tweaks with the Physics engine.
    Bashiok: First, touching on the corpse fade timers as they stand, the tech to have them last longer has been in for a while. Pretty much how it's working is that there's an allowed number of physics "actors" that are allowed to remain at a time. These actors could be corpses, but they can also be pieces of destroyed tables, or railings, etc. anything that relies on physics. These are corpses and destructables generally. As you 'create' physics actors the oldest ones disappear. So as you're fighting there are always a number of actors remaining in the world, and it works out pretty well. Obviously how many of them can remain at one time will come down to final performance tweaking, but right now I believe it's around twenty.

    On to blood and fading; the "cost" of decals, which include the blood stains, are fairly high. Cost being the relative strain put on the machine running the game. Decals account for blood, but they also account for quite a few other effects, most of which haven't yet been revealed. In the potential case of a full party creating these decals, blood flowing from creatures, skills that create them, as well as monsters themselves using skills that create them (Wretched vomiting all over the place is a good example), there is the potential to have a large number of decals on screen at any one time. So again, it's going to come down to final performance tweaks as to how many of them will remain on screen and for how long.
    Thanks, Lyquid

    Source: Battle.net
    Posted in: Diablo III Physics: Blood and Corpses
  • published the article Blizzard Debunks Diablo III Release Before Starcraft 2 Rumor
    Blizzard Public Relations got a response to the recent rumors that Diablo III would ship before Starcraft 2. The rumor was widespread last week to be a "leak" from a anonymous Blizzard employee. I squashed the rumor by linking to the Ten Ton Hammer interview with Jay Wilson (held two weeks ago) where it is implied Starcraft 2 and Battle.net 2.0 would be launched simultaneously, which makes the rumor very unlikely.
    Jay Wilson: Well we have a brand new version of the Battle.net that is in the works. It’s going to come out with Starcraft 2. I cannot really steal their thunder in terms of the specific feature set, because that is their announcement to make. What I can talk about is the philosophy. It is essentially as a company our goal is to provide the best online experience that players will have in gaming.
    Fans have been submitting the rumor as a news heads up, but Mockery, Sol_Invictus and I reached a concensus not to post about the rumor unless we had an official statement from Blizzard Entertainment. We wish to post news responsibly.

    I was at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals and played Starcraft II. All reviews online say it is a very polished game. All it needs is start beta testing process for balancing. Anyone who has played Starcraft II at the public hands-on events will tell you that game is ready to ship. It is unlikely that Diablo 3 could be released before Starcraft II. That's my personal view. My recommendation to all forum members is to please refrain from posting alleged leaks or baseless rumors. Moderation is in full swing by our roster of moderators. We do not wish fans to get misinformed or misled.

    Diablo III Community Manager Bashiok responded Diablofans.com with an official statement concerning the rumor:
    We're pleased with the development progress on both StarCraft II and Diablo III and are looking forward to sharing more news about both games at next month's BlizzCon event. Development is proceeding at full speed on both games, but we do not currently have any release dates to announce for either game.
    Posted in: Blizzard Debunks Diablo III Release Before Starcraft 2 Rumor
  • published the article Diablo 3 Visual Status Indicator
    Bashiok informed some visual mechanics on certain monsters that may offer some valuable info about them in the shape of a status indicator. In this case, the Skeletal Shieldmen are used as an example.
    Bashiok: The glow on the shields of Skeletal Shieldmen actually serves a couple purposes. First it's an easy and quick way to identify them from other skeletons, that's a given, but the second function is that it's actually a status indicator. Obviously as you hit them they'll block the hits with their shield, but they can only block so much damage. As they block damage the glow dims. It's a useful tool that visually indicates how close their shields are to breaking.
    Posted in: Diablo 3 Visual Status Indicator