Unsurprising Diablo III News

WARNING: You have stumbled upon one of my “rant” pages for a game(s). My rants are intentionally critical and contain foul language. If you are not comfortable with this, then please don’t read the material I have written.

So Blizzard is showing off a bit of Diablo III at Gamescom. This is pretty cool, since new info on the game is always welcome. However, Blizzard decided that at Gamescom, they would do nothing more than just fuck with us.

Here is the “big info reveal” from Gamescom. This is taken from an IGN article. Click here for the full article.

Jay Wilson, game director on Blizzard’s highly anticipated action-RPG Diablo III gave a presentation at Gamescom 2010 to talk about a new feature for the game, the artisan system. These are NPCs that help you out during the game that craft and manipulate items for you. Wilson focused on the blacksmith for the duration of the presentation, but also touched on the jeweler and mystic. While you won’t start out your questing in Diablo III with these artisans, you are able to collect and maintain all three at the same time.

Initially you’ll need to do some tasks for the artisans when you first meet, earn their loyalty, and they’ll then join up and follow along from town to town throughout Sancturary. One of the goals with Diablo III was to add a crafting system, but the team didn’t want one where the player needs to spend a lot of time in towns and slow down the pace of the game.

The blacksmith, once recruited, will set up shop in town and is surrounded by anvils, a cart and item racks. He’ll act as a vendor where you can buy and sell items, and can also craft items. He tends to produce armor and heavy weapons more geared for melee characters, though there’ll be crafting options for every class. More interestingly, he can add sockets to items and can repair them as well. If an item doesn’t have sockets, then he can socket it so you can add gems to any item regardless of quality.
All three artisan types can be improved as the game progresses to enhance their crafting skill set. Once upgraded, you’ll also see the effects visually around the vendor areas in town. For example, in the blacksmith’s area the anvil and weapon racks and wagons surrounding him will be more ornate and elaborate, with pieces of armor attached to the wagon and fancy fires burning with chains wrapping around. Blizzard doesn’t want the items crafted to be entirely predictable.

When actually ordering the vendor to craft items, there’ll be a mix of predictable and unpredictable elements. A recipe for a dagger can have a set range of damage, but may also come along with two random properties. Some craftable have more predictable combinations than others, but Blizzard’s idea was to have a certain amount of randomness for every item. To gather the materials for crafting, you’ll need to salvage existing items. To get materials you’ll be able to put unwanted items you can drop them in a cube-like device (not the Horadric Cube, but similar) and break down the items, which you can do anywhere, to kick out materials. Higher level gear and quality items without high sell prices are generally the best to break down, and there’s some items that give you special drops.

For the other artisans, the mystic can enchant items, adding additional chance to crit or whatever you like, as well as identify items, craft wands, staves, and smaller armor items like bracers. The jeweler can pull gems off of items without destroying the item or the gem, and can also craft special items like amulets. Jeweler can also combine gems into better ones, replacing the function of the Horadric Cube from Diablo II, and in all there’ll be fourteen levels of quality for gems, though above level five the requirements for upgrading will be especially steep. All three artisans can follow you simultaneously and be fully upgraded, so there’s no need to pick one over the other.

Okay, so… Essentially the artisans are just characters from Diablo II but with new names. None of this is revolutionary. These are features that Blizzard introduced in Diablo II nearly a decade ago. It’s borderline hilarious that they’re chatting up the artisans as if they’re an exciting gameplay feature.

Sorry Blizzard, but everyone expected shit like this to be in the game. You’re not going to wow anybody with features that have become the norm in the PC RPG genre. Want to get people talking? Reveal the fifth fucking class already!

Hopefully this isn’t all Blizzard will mention at Gamescom, but… After giving a presentation about basic gameplay functions, I’m not going to hold my breath for Blizzard to reveal any sort of new and cool features in Diablo III.

Who thought that this would be a good idea? Show off something that will actually make people talk, Blizzard. Fuck!!

Return to August 2010 Articles

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