Follow on for our second entry in the on-going review of World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor: Day 8 - Garrisons
We chat with Blizzard's Hearthstone team on all the juicy info about the first expansion to highly-successful card game Hearthstone
Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes Developer Interview
We take a nostalgic look back at one of the best N64 games to ever be made, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Throwback Thursday - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:08am 29/04/11 | 36 Comments
In an interview with The New York Times, Diablo III director, Jay Wilson, revealed that the game is indeed on the "home stretch" in terms of the final stages of development and that the team were "crunching". "This is when the magic happens," he added.

As many outlets continue to point out and we all know too well, none of this is indicative of an actual release date, nor an indication we'll see the game this year. But it's welcome news indeed. To be fair, Blizzard have a tendency to put together all assets from a project in the form of a functioning game, only to then sit on it for as long as need be for balancing, and there's no denying they're the best in the business at that.

So who knows, with Wilson talking to the New York Times about being on the "home stretch", the rest of us might learn a thing or two soon, too. Stay tuned for more as, or when and if, it becomes available.



blizzarddiablo iiiinterviewrelease datejay wilson
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Latest Comments
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 10:15am 29/4/11
My vote is still next year. I'm more than happy to be wrong in this case though :)
Jayman
Posted 10:27am 29/4/11
I think the goal is 2011, but if it's late it's late. There was a blue post not too long ago saying the beta will only be a part of the game, and we're not going to see any more areas than we've already seen. They don't want to reveal too much so the game's fresh. Can't wait. Just hope they don't make it too much like wow in terms of end game.
Taipan
Posted 10:31am 29/4/11
Blizzard have a tendency to put together all assets from a project in the form of a functioning game, only to then sit on it for as long as need be for balancing, and there's no denying they're the best in the business at that.


Balancing LOL you're a funny guy Steve. From a single player perspective balance obviously won't be that big of an issue provided nothing occurs that trivializes content. But in general (with characters) Blizzards idea of balance isn't to balance anything at all but rather rotate the troughs and peaks in balance often enough it fools people into thinking they are getting a fair deal.

Nah but seriously Blizzard are well known for not rushing things out the door and for delivering a pretty well polished product. As always I will be counting on it being relatively bug free compared to most games on release.

Khel
Posted 10:33am 29/4/11
Just hope they don't make it too much like wow in terms of end game.


Since when has Diablo ever had an end game? When you finish it, you just start it again.
Raisty
Posted 11:00am 29/4/11
The Pandemonium Event was essentially the endgame in diablo 2.
Hogfather
Posted 11:08am 29/4/11
I reckon Blizzard's balance record is pretty bullet-proof. Take a look at their RTS series.

RE WoW, every MMO in the universe has and always will have a cycle of class balancing. This is not because its impossible to get balance "right", its because that's not interesting to the gamers.

The misconception is that MMO class changes are legitimately geared to moving towards some sort of static balance epitome where everything is finally right with Azeroth. The reality IMO is that they add s*** and mix it up to keep the game changing and people sucking on that monthly-fee crack pipe.

Since when has Diablo ever had an end game? When you finish it, you just start it again.

Its the same as the end game in WoW, you re-run instanced encounters over and over again to collect loot sets.

Bring on Diablo III!
Khel
Posted 11:11am 29/4/11
Its the same as the end game in WoW, you re-run instanced encounters over and over again to collect loot sets.


Not really, it'd be like reaching level 85 in WoW, and then starting again at level 1, doing the same stuff again on a harder difficulty.

I'm not knocking it, I'm just saying I never really thought of Diablo having an endgame. I didn't know about that Pandemonium thing though, thats pretty cool.
Hogfather
Posted 11:19am 29/4/11
Not really, it'd be like reaching level 85 in WoW, and then starting again at level 1, doing the same stuff again on a harder difficulty.

People usually just ran hardcore Hell-Hell over and over again, not the sisterhood place.

Also, Naxxramas much?! :)

Its obviously not the same thing because its Diablo. But there was an endgame that was about repeating instanced content for loot which from a certain perspective is what people do in MMOs at level cap.
I'm not knocking it, I'm just saying I never really thought of Diablo having an endgame

That doesn't mean it didn't exist. But IMO Hardcore Hell was by far a ballsier endgame than anything WoW ever delivered.
Thundercracker
Posted 11:24am 29/4/11
I think of Diablo II end game as finishing Baal on Hell and then gearing up to do the pandemonium event.

... which basically involves running Baal till your eyeballs fall out of their sockets.

Post 1.10, hell difficulty is actually pretty hard and you need a solid build or some good friends to progress. Some people, I imagine, would have found it a massive jump in difficulty.

But Khels kinda right, most people just played and finished normal, nightmare or hell (if they were game), and then potentially re-rolled. Personally I would finish Hell and stop playing because I can't stand boss run after boss run.

edit: also, barbie ftw
Dan
Posted 11:26am 29/4/11
yeah, endgame in D2 was really just about rerunning the later generated dungeons over and over looking for unique loot. There was a bit of a PvP option, but the way it was implemented made it not very worthwhile. I would imagine D3 is going to have a lot more options in PvP, but I haven't read much about that, so I could be way off base.
lateral
Posted 11:27am 29/4/11

Balancing LOL you're a funny guy Steve. From a single player perspective balance obviously won't be that big of an issue provided nothing occurs that trivializes content. But in general (with characters) Blizzards idea of balance isn't to balance anything at all but rather rotate the troughs and peaks in balance often enough it fools people into thinking they are getting a fair deal.


asif, they are better by far than anyone else at providing varied gameplay units while providing good balance, part of that is having classes excel at certain tasks while performing poorly at others, certain classes excel early in the games while others are better for the later game. I've found blizzard have always given balanced characters for you to ruin with 'tweaking' :)

considering most games that come out that have an American team always gets way overpowered even though 90% of the units between the teems are exactly the same short of a different colour, I'd say they are doing a bang up job of providing a different play style for each class yet keeping it relatively balanced.
Thundercracker
Posted 11:43am 29/4/11
I'm guessing D3 endgame will be running dungeons, but hopefully it will provide a much wider variety of bosses/dungeons to do. With the inclusion of good randomisation it might actually be enjoyable :O

I'm also guessing the PvP gear will be different to the PvE gear, similar to how WoW handles it with different stats benefiting either PvE or PvP more.

What I'm keen on finding out about is their new trading system. It sounds like this feature has introduced a fair bit of work for them. Since you don't play on realms like in WoW, it will be interesting to see how they handle one big global auction house/trading system.
skythra
Posted 01:09pm 29/4/11
Taipan is pretty close to right though, when you play wc3, Wow, sc2, you realise they balance everything in a similar fashion.

They'll look at a race/class, is it being underutilised in an area, buff a little, debuff something, and let the gameplay change.

Their idea of balance isn't this idea that there is a perfect endgoal with numbers they're trying to reach, they're literally balancing the use. If something like PSI storm is being abused and becomes mandatory, they don't want the gameplay to stagnante, instead they change it and force the players to change.

Some of them are literally because they're too powerful, other ones are just to make sure the gameplay is ever evolving, that games from 3 months ago have a different flow to games of now.

As for d3 endgame, yeah there was endgame. I couldn't say it was filled with content, but because people enjoyed just running ever changing instances over and over to get gear sets for builds, then they did. My friends used to do that every weekend, but I just wasn't that big of a fan of d2..

I really likd d1 but d2 was just too... hard to use the skills in a really effective way.. it felt like d1 with all this potential that was a pain to use. I think they got WoW pretty right with how you could use skills, so many skills could just be thrown out one after the other in different orders to achieve different things. a stun a slow an aoe a crowd control a whatever. In D2 it was like "I'll base my whole skillset around these 2-4 skills and nothing but". Although that was largely the endgame dps rotation for most wow classes anyway..

Well either way i'm plenty excited. I think my SC2 will probably end the day that d3 comes out which will maybe be a bit sad. But that's ok, one good game deserves to be killed by another.
Jayman
Posted 01:24pm 29/4/11
What I mean by the end game comment. In D2 max level was 99 which was a VERY slow road to do without botting. D3 has a level cap just like wow and you'll cap out about the time you finish all the single player content. In wow once you're at that point almost all improvements you make to your character require a group. Where as D2 you could always go solo and have a chance to get the same drops. Lower drop chance, and it would take you longer, but you didn't have to wait around for everyone to get on. End game wow was so reliant on other people it killed so much time just waiting for everyone to log on and get there s*** together it really sucked all the fun out of it in the end.

I hope D3 end game is not like that. It's what should sort out wow from Diablo. It was good being able to do solo runs in D2 for loot. Log on for 30 mins, and not rely on anyone but yourself. If D3 is too group reliant for the end game It will totally turn me off. At the end of wow I felt like If i wasn't raiding i wasn't achieving anything, and I couldn't just log on and do that, it all had to be too structured with schedules etc. DO NOT WANT.
Eorl
Posted 01:31pm 29/4/11
Haha Blizzard balancing has never been good on Multiplayer level. Just look at WoW PVP. Though I give them the benefit of the doubt there, with PVP really being tacked on. Never understood why they didn't just do what Guild Wars does, and make two sets of spells, PVE and PVP.
Enska
Posted 01:34pm 29/4/11
When did you last play WoW Eorl?
Pinky
Posted 01:43pm 29/4/11
Since when did The New York Times interview game directors!? Are they marketing Diablo III to some kind of upper class, Wall St, investment banker type demographic?

:D

Yeah, cannot wait for this.
skythra
Posted 01:46pm 29/4/11
Haha Blizzard balancing has never been good on Multiplayer level. Just look at WoW PVP. Though I give them the benefit of the doubt there, with PVP really being tacked on. Never understood why they didn't just do what Guild Wars does, and make two sets of spells, PVE and PVP.

it's true, starcraft, a game by blizzard is horribly balanaced and never survived any kind of giant multiplayer growth in korea with two dedicated tv stations showing games by pros 24/7.
Tanaka Khan
Posted 02:33pm 29/4/11
I've been off the WoW sauce for almost 4 months now and still can't see myself going back. I'll be jumping on D3 though when it appears, although funnily enough I never played D2.
Khel
Posted 02:35pm 29/4/11
I was off WoW for 2 months, but I've just gone back to play around with the new versions of ZA and ZG. Faction changed my main character from horde to alliance as well to join some mates and do some 25 man raiding, which I haven't really done since BC, so that should be something a bit different.

Yeah, I'm a hopeless wow junkie :( I can't help it, the game just appeals to me, I like the cut of its jib.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 02:36pm 29/4/11
Diablo 3 LAN when it comes out - booya! Hog you will need to come down to Brisbane for a long weekend :)
Hogfather
Posted 02:58pm 29/4/11
F*** wow, Rift is where its at.

And D3. A run to Brissy may be on the cards :)
Enska
Posted 04:10pm 29/4/11
Yeah i'm glued to WoW again after giving it a rest over the xmas period, but come D3 I probably wont leave the house (except to go LAN at another house) and play anything else for months :D
Outlaw
Posted 04:19pm 29/4/11
oh, its another... "I quit wow.. oh, no i didnt" thread

jesus nobody gives a s***
Khel
Posted 04:29pm 29/4/11
I've just riffin' off the beats Tanaka was laying down, don't hate the playah
skythra
Posted 04:53pm 29/4/11
I've been off the WoW sauce for almost 4 months now and still can't see myself going back. I'll be jumping on D3 though when it appears, although funnily enough I never played D2.

I left came back a year later, by 1 month i levelled from level 1-70 in time for a pre-release of WOTLK and got to 80 in 3days2nights, by 2 months after joining again, i was running my own guild due to the popularity of how well i was running pug groups of nax10/25 (before most guilds actually managed to get their main raiders to 80 so i was pugging with the elite who wanted to grab the top gear for when their main core raiders were large enough to actually go on real runs.. they ran well because i'd done nax in vanilla and therefore roughly knew the fights anyway). Quit wow now, I'll try to keep myself away from it, it's been more than 2 years now.

No matter what, you can always slide back.

Since quitting wow I:
- Went to japan.
- Went around half of australia.
- Made about 30 real life friends who are constantly asking me out to "raid" the pub/karaoke/party/KBBQ.
- Got a good job and made friends at that
- Build a car from nothing more than a shell and some spare parts, most of which were for a totally different type of car
- Finished dozens of single player games
- Got addicted to SC2 :D

While on wow I:
- Didn't go out most nights because wow could be played
- On downtime at work instead of socialising and talking, I checked out my spreadsheets for wow and checked the forums and organised raids for hometime
- Every raid night was dedicated and no friends could see me during those times
- Skipped parties/outings etc because lots of people relied on me to organise and run raids/pugs/etc
- Spent more time talking to my girlfriend on vent, then taking off the headset to turn and talk to her.

It's a bad game for me, if it was gambling or alcohol i'm sure i'd have been forced to go to an AA group meeting.

What i'm looking for in D3:
- Small groups - 2-5 people in a group doing awesome class synergies to quickly clear content that should be impossible while that level on players8.
- Levelling. I love RPG's, jrpgs, wrpgs, mmorpgs. I just like grinding sometimes, the monotonous pressing buttons and clicking while looking at stuff die is great.
- Gear. The extra things you think about when deciding on what gear would work with your build.
- Not an MMO, i hate 99% of mmo players, even the good ones when playing wow for so long were c****. You only need like 2-3 people out of 25-40 to do some dumb s*** and it ruins your night.
- Playing online with friends, not just randoms who you make friends with in game.
- Clicking. I'm sure i'll regret that one later, but i kind of miss the mass clicking room when people LANned back in the day.
-PvE multiplayer. Things which are multiplayer are better sometimes when they're against computers. You don't have to be better or worse than your friends at something, you're just beating the computer and noone feels bad about that.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 04:52pm 29/4/11
I can't wait to break my mouse by excessive clicking.
Eorl
Posted 05:32pm 29/4/11
I haven't played WoW for about 6 months now, don't really care anymore. Just seems like rehashed poo.

On the actual subject of D3, can't wait though. Definitely going to be fun. Wonder how Torchlight 2 is doing, can't wait for that one either.

Oh Tim, I don't know if D3 has been confirmed for actual LAN. I think it will be the same as SC2, where you have to connect to battle.net in order to play "LAN". Though unlike 10 years ago, a larger percentage have internet that can handle 8+ people connecting.
Outlaw
Posted 05:37pm 29/4/11
I quit wow in closed beta. I quit again before BC. I quit after BC. F***, technically I quit smoking everyday.

I quit d3
Enska
Posted 05:41pm 29/4/11
Outlaw for most unnoticeable troll award.

Yeah torchlight 2 will also be grouse, but will only really tide me over until the real goods come out :D
assuming T2 beats D3 to release that is.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 05:42pm 29/4/11
Ya Eorl, I would anticipate it won't have a LAN feature (but I'm open to a surprise!)...that being said I'm happy to have a "LAN" over the internet where everyone is in the same location. Still would be better if they had a LAN feature....
The GuVna
Posted 05:49pm 29/4/11
I recall they took the rainbow out of Diablo 3, so it'll be banned in AU
Jayman
Posted 09:58pm 29/4/11
http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/jay-wilson-interview-diablo3.cc/#When:07:54:20Z

I'm liking what i'm seeing here.

The biggest new thing is word that there will be no item binding (of any kind) in Diablo III

Great news. Item binding sux balls.

MFing will be a viable activity for Clvl 60 chars, but that there will be other things to do as well

Awesome again. Still want to be able to MF but give us more to do as well.
Khel
Posted 10:08pm 29/4/11
What is MF?
ravn0s
Posted 10:11pm 29/4/11
motherf*****g
Jayman
Posted 10:31pm 29/4/11
What is MF?


Magic Find. It's a stat on gear in D2 (and D3) to increase your odds to find better quality items. So you'd sacrifice more power / survivability etc. on gear to get better item drops. Most D2 players would have at least one MF character dedicated to finding items for your other chars.
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