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Monday, February 16, 2009

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Diablo III: Identifying Items, Boss Abuse, Item Affixes
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Diablo III Community Manager Bashiok has offered a few more tidbits of information about Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming action RPG sequel. Topics covered this time include item identification, boss monsters and checkpoints, and limitations on item affixes.

Identifying items:
The identify system has gone through quite a few internal iterations already, and I think we'll probably see quite a few more. It's an interesting system in a lot of ways because first off it's something everyone remembers from the previous games, so if it wasn't there you'd probably wonder where it went. In a different light you could literally remove it entirely and probably not impact gameplay itself very much at all. It's also open ended enough where you could blow the system out and do something new and cool with it. Ultimately (and I know it's a broken record at this point) we'll do what is best for the game and what adds to the best game experience possible.

Bosses and loot (and checkpoints):
It's possible the checkpoint system may affect boss encounters. If it turns out that checkpoints make kamikaze runs a viable technique to down a boss, there will probably have to be some measures to keep it in check.
I've also seen some alarmist concerns with it being used as a way to grief others, or take advantage of this system or that. They're certainly valid questions and concerns, but I suppose it's the conclusions that are being jumped to and the certainty in which they're held that's off-putting.

Item affixes:
You raise a valid point but I'll propose some of my own thoughts on why I think limiting random attributes can be a bad idea.
First of all you'd probably end up limiting the item pool by ensuring that only optimal items are dropped. It may not sound amazingly cool but we do want some amount of non-optimal items dropping and circulating. This helps build out a drop-pool so that you can drop a lot of items. Which is one of the things that makes Diablo awesome, seeing items thrown out all over the place. Sure you might pass over some of them, but there's that "oooh! aaah!" feeling when you see a ton of loot flung out of a monster or chest. It wouldn't be the same game without it.
In addition, even when the game launches we're probably not going to have an idea of everything that can be accomplished with what we're providing. We want a lot of variety in how characters can be built, and in that variety there's going to be a lot of unknowns. I doubt that until it's actually on the shelves and in everyone's hands for a while we won't know all of what can be done. It's a scary thought for us, but also really exciting, and by building items completely how we "think" they should be, we'd be removing a lot of that ability for you to try out crazy things and maybe find the new hotness build for a class.
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