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Thursday, July 23, 2009
 

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Diablo III: Quick Weapon Switching, Random Level Generation
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

In his most recent post on the official Diablo III forums, community manager Bashiok discussed a range of topics including quick weapon switching, random level generation, and skill popularity. Diablo III is Blizzard Entertainment's long awaited return to the popular action RPG franchise.

On quick weapon switching:
Just like Diablo II we're saving secondary weapon/shield slot and hot key for the expansion.

Kidding! ... probably. We don't have it now, but that doesn't mean there won't be one. I don't think it's an irrelevant question, maybe just not the most pressing one.

I don't think it NEEDS to be there. It's not really an iconic part of the game. The gameplay dictates its necessity, and if there's no reason to hot swap weapons mid-fight, then having it there just clutters the UI.

Personally I just used it in Diablo II for extra item storage.

On random level generation:
We definitely agree randomized levels have some key issues with them, but they are a big part of what makes a Diablo game, and how could we not have them? The Diablo franchise is built on randomization in all forms.

Randomized levels can indeed create a very generic feeling if not done well. We're working really hard to ensure that doesn't happen though. It's actually one of the reasons why our exterior layouts aren't randomized. It's extremely difficult to have wide open areas be randomized as well as interesting. Instead we have static exterior zones where the roads, towns, and edges are always in the same place. To keep some bits of random in there though we have a bunch of small, medium, and large pieces cut out of them. In those cut out pieces the game can then place the randomized "adventure" sets. They could be artistic in nature (a fountain, an abandoned cart), they could spawn extra enemies, or they could spawn quests.

Our interiors are randomized, but we do some things differently that help make them more interesting. I think we accomplish this mostly by using our interior jigsaw pieces more intelligently, building more and different types of jigsaw pieces, and also because our artists are amazing. I don't think anywhere in Diablo III are you going to think "This place is not visually interesting". The types of interior pieces do make an enormous difference, and I think we're pretty good at it now. In Diablo II for example you pretty much had a few standard square set pieces, and then a bunch of hallways. We still have those in Diablo III but we're mixing it up a lot more with more intricate and interesting 'showcase' pieces that make it seem like they're not even randomized levels.
Read more at the GameBanshee page listed below.

GameBanshee: Bashiok Diablo III Comments
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Archives  News  Diablo III: Quick Weapon Switching, Random Level Generation