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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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Diablo III: Reaction To Attribute Changes, Game Status
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

In recent posts on Blizzard Entertainment's official forums, Diablo III community manager Bashiok has continued to hand out information about the upcoming action RPG title. The topics this time range from the game's attribute system to how much of it is complete.

On the attribute system:
First is the loss of customization, and I’ve mentioned before that we don’t think it will be an issue, but let me elaborate a bit more. With the current skill system, runes, and item affixes, as well as other unmentionables, there’s not going to be any issue with not having enough customization. If there is, bottom line, we’ll add more. We’re not going to release a game we’re not happy with, and a lack of character customization options would make us unhappy. But, even right now we have a lot more variety and ability to customize a character than Diablo II had. I’m going to come back to some of this later because we’d like your help.

Somewhat similarly is being able to create “off-spec” builds, or characters that aren’t just cookie cutter ideals of the class you’re playing. This is important to the game, and we will ensure that it doesn't get "tuned out" of the game. Most importantly though being able to manually spend attributes does not make this a possibility. Which is to say that us automatically assigning attributes does not take away the ability to make these types of characters, at all. Manual attributes were not what made them possible in Diablo II. The ability to make these types of characters relies solely on the complexity and diversity of the the options available to steer your character, and not that they come in the form of a "+" button.

The loss of a feeling of a leveling achievement is actually something we recognize and intend to address.

The nostalgia of simply having points, and spending them on base stats is probably the most difficult. Liking something because it’s familiar is difficult to argue with, but it’s also probably the easiest to overcome. Since we can’t force your memories out of you, we just have to make the best game we can and hope you realize that manual attribute assignment isn’t the best, most engaging or entertaining form of character customization possible, and that we’re offering an even deeper and richer game without those buttons. Or you’ll just forget you even cared because you're playing Diablo III and it's totally kick ass... one or the other.

On what's finished:
Just to clarify this was an interview with Rob at the announcement of the game at WWI, and just to avoid any conclusions drawn without watching the video here's the quote:

"I think most of the other classes are actually playable back at the home office, but I'm not going to tell you about them today. And most of, kind of the first act, is also pretty playable, but we still have a long ways to go."

So you're quite a bit off from "all classes" and "all of act one" being finished. It's really insubstantial information though, because anyone that understands the Blizzard development process and core values we're all about iterating. It's not done until it's done.

As far as information releases go and current development everyone on the team is working really hard on the game, and it's progressing really well, but we're just kind of in a weird spot as far as new information releases go right now.

Click over to the GameBanshee page below to read more.

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