Diablo 3 ESP interviews Wyatt Cheng y Leonard Boyarsky (english)
#1 - First question… Many Diablo players agree that RoS is the expansion that Diablo 3 needs, it brings a lot of necesary features (adventure mode) and, of course, new content as the Crusader and the Act V. Would you describe RoS as a expansion set or rather as a completion set?
Leonard: I think it really does bring Diablo where it needs to be. It was challenging developing Diablo 3… and if you recall, Diablo 2 needed the completion of Lord of Destruction to become what everybody remembers and I think it’s the same with us. It was a manner of getting in front of people to see what we had. The original beta for Diablo 3 was only up to the Skeleton King and we did that for several different reasons but I think, in retrospective, we could have found a way to give it more to the beta, or give more playing to the people so we could have more information to make the game better. Now that’s the past and we are moving forward, now, in a couple of weeks, we certainly do patches, we are addressing issues that people are experiencing and we are bringing it forward. That’s how Blizzard works internally or once until release, it’s like World of Warcraft when it first came out compared to now, they are two totally different things. It’s a sort of continuation but I think it’s where it needs to be and we work close to people to try to make it better all the time.
#2 - Do you think we might be seeing new content as the infernal machine in the Reaper of Souls lifetime?
Wyatt: Yes, it’s totally possible that we add similar size features after the Release of Reaper of Souls. I think it’s really a matter of getting the game out there and listening to the feedback of the community and playing the game ourselves and deciding what the game really needs.
#3 - I read something that went like: Diablo players are always searching ways how to not actually play Diablo 3. They are trying to optimize everything or cheat the game, and you have to fight against that. How could you manage all the people trying not to play Diablo 3?
Wyatt: I know! And it’s funny because people ask, for example, one of the controversial features… I consider it a feature for D3 RoS. It’s the legendary items now sould bound. People say, why don’t you let me trade my legendary items, it’s because you won’t be playing the game.

If you trade the item that’s just another way to not playing the game. And instead get the items from somebody else who plays in the game. We really feel that we have adventure mode where you do your bounties and you go to the rifts and is very rewarding and you should find your own legendary items by doing that.
#4 - Warcry.ru: Will be ladders in Diablo 3?
Wyatt: There is nothing announced yet for ladders. Reaper of Souls on launch has not going to have any but it is something that we talked about and we’d like to do. I think a ladder has some advantages, I like to call them seasons instead because I think ladder focuses a lot on the race to be number one which I don’t think that’s what most people likes about the ladder. It’s more important that you and your friends decided to start over again with a fresh economy with all Diablo players around the world starting over again the same time and that gives you a great excuse to level up a new character in a clean environment. That’s what really appeal to a lot of people about ladders. If we do a feature like that, it’ll probably be a seasons feature, we might not have a ladder to go with it. It’s really hard to say at this time, I do think that players want an excuse to reroll and start fresh and players also want a way to measure the progress of their characters and I think we should be looking at features that allow players do both things.
#5 - Warcry.ru: Why is the soulbound system so strict in Reaper of Souls? What are those players who don’t play that much supposed to do?
Wyatt: I think that the fantasy that everyone has is that they remember playing Diablo 2. And you would trade items with your friends and that was really fun. But at the same time that comes to a cost and if I trade you items I’m also making it so you’re not getting items from monsters. And we really want to make sure the best way to get the top best items in the game is by playing the game. They shouldn’t come from the auction house, they shouldn’t come from a website, they shouldn’t come from a chat channel, they shouldn’t come as a gift from a friend. As great as it feels at the time, no matter where I get the item, if I get it from someone else I’m not getting it from playing the game.

If you and I are friends, and let’s forget everything else for a moment, let’s say that we were to allow trade between two friends. You play three hours a week and I play 40 hours a week. Because you don’t play that much you say “Hey! Wyatt, can I get some items?” and I say “Of course! I’d love to get you some items” so you log in, and I give you an awesome sword, helm, shoulders… I just shower you with tons of great items. You say “Thanks Wyatt”, you go to play and you get anything from the drops, I gave you so many good items that when you play the game it doesn’t feel rewarding anymore and then you’re done. So I think that it feels good at the time and we were both well-intentioned but I think that when people ask for the ability to trade they’re well-intentioned because they remember that good memories. But it’s really ignoring the hidden cost which comes after the trades happen, the game is going to be way less rewarding.
#6 - Are you looking for another kind of trade or you are happy with that?
We are happy with the way the trading is right now.
#7 - Are you going to support gold trading?
No, there is no plan for that.
#8 - So, gold is going to be soul bound.
Wyatt: Aham. There is an interesting effect for that, right now when people play we have lots of feedback in the beta that people are trying to get lots of gold and I think that’s really good. People on live right now, they complain all the time “Gold prices are this, gold prices are that!” and you need a million gold to do anything. They see gold dropping on ground and the don’t even care about gold drops on the ground. Now you compare that to the beta, people care about gold, they’re trying to pick up more, they’re wearing gold find gear they’re trying to play in higher difficulty levels to increase their gold find, that’s because they actually didn’t have a billion gold tossed onto them and need to earn the gold themselves so they are actually happy to see it. Again, it’s part of the philosophy, the most rewarding way to play is to actually playing the game, you’re not playing the auction house, you’re not playing your friends, you’re playing the game.
#9 - You cannot share anything with your friends, that’s a bit antisocial…
Wyatt: You can share a good playing experience with your friends, that’s the most social. If you need gold, I’ll hop into a game with and we can farm gold together.
#10 - Don’t you think the enchant costs are too high?
Wyatt: They were too high early on on the beta so it depends on which part of the beta. I think the early beta costs were to high, we changed some of them, we changed the enchant costs on the rings, we lowered the gem requirement down a little bit, we changed enchant costs on all the legendaries. The beta was actually very helpful for that, basically people pointed out that enchant costs were too high so we fixed it.
#11 - Why 500 blood shards limit?
Wyatt: Realisticly 500 is enough to buy anything multiple times. It seems that no matter where we put the limit it was never high enough. But if we make the limit too high people just never spend them so I think it’s like saying : “Hey! You should spend your blood shards”. We’ll see, if it gets too awkward we will increase the limit.
#12 - Warcry.ru: Are you going to add colorblind mode to Diablo 3?
Wyatt: As far as I know, most of the game is designed to be colorblind friendly. Do you know if there is any specific texture color blindness in the game? There are a number of colorblind people on the team already, our lead gameplay engineer is red green colorblind, we had an artist who was extremely colorblind and we try to make sure that the color of the items on the ground are colorblind friendly. We do what we can, if there’s something we missed I’d love to hear about it. I definitely want the game to be colorblind friendly. We try to make it colorblind friendly without needing an option, we rather just design the game to be colorblind friendly from the beginning.
#13 - About the legendary items, I think the new effects are a great improvement, but if I’m looking for some specific item or I need some set piece, what should I do? I just have to expect to be lucky and play, and play, and play… and without trading…
Wyatt: It’s definitely a big shift from the live game. There are some sets that are very difficult to complete. I would rather that the set is difficult to complete, and you have to play the game a lot to complete it if you really want to than for you to have completed the set by trading and then you are done.
#14 - And what about some monsters having more chances to drop…
Wyatt: We talked about that so we have some crafting recipes. Some of the sets are going to be rare and they have to be rare. We don’t want to cheapen the experience of having gone on that set, when you see somebody has that set you know that they earned it, they didn’t trade for it, they didn’t buy it: they earned it. There are legendary items that can be crafted and you craft those by farming specific monsters for specific pieces, and there is also Kadala with the blood shards. One of the reasons we added Kadala the way that it’s currently done is if you really want a set, well it’s not guaranteed, but at least you can pick the slot that you know you’re trying to fill. That’s a little bit of influence that you have, it’s better than nothing. That’s the biggest struggle with no trade, I think we’re going to address the issue and I think that’s actually something we are going to keep an eye on on live, because I think it’s a valid concern. The answer is not to bring back trading, I think that’s a wrong answer to a valid problem. If the problem gets to big, we’ll look for other solutions.
#15 - Warcry.ru: How is the crusader different from Barbarian and Monk?
Wyatt: The crusader is a more heavily armored. The barbarian and monk they’re both kinda like in cloth and maybe some armor, but the crusader is head to toe, and he uses a shield as a weapon, that’s a really big difference.

Leonard: For me the biggest difference is that when I’m playing other character classes… maybe not the barbarian as much but definitely the other ones I’m always trying to make sure that I have an escape route and I’m not completely surrounded. When playing the crusader I’m trying to get as many monsters around me as possible because I’m just want to destroy them all with my artifacts, which is very gratifying. It’s very much our heavy ??? class. From the story perspective I think it’s as interesting as any of the other classes. I think he’s more distinct in terms of his playstyle, I feel like each one of our classes has its own niche and its own story. But as far as its playstyle, I feel like it stands apart from everybody else.
#16 - I have noticed a higher degree of randomized tiles in some areas like Tristram Cathedral and also a slightly modified boss fights, are you planning to introduce more randomization in older environments or creating more strategic battles with the bosses?
Wyatt: I would love to see more randomness in some of our existing areas, it’s not easy to do. A lot of it has to do, honestly with the opportunity cost, what else could we’ve been doing instead. Is it more important to have more randomness to our existing areas or do you think players would enjoy having a completely new area instead? Obviously those aren’t the same but in some ways there is definitely a cost in creating the art for the tiles to revisit an old area. That’s why for Act V, we really emphasized a lot more of randomness because we were making it from scratch. We were able to do that.

Leonard: Our exterior areas are fully randomized now, whilst in Vanilla, in Diablo 3, they had a set boundary… the boundaries were always the same for the Highlands but we swap in and out some events inside them. But in Reaper of Souls all of the areas are fully randomized.
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