Blizzard talks new additions to upcoming games

Gamescom 2011: Six Blizzard leads convene to discuss a new Diablo III difficulty level, Cataclysm's 4.3 patch notes, and more.

Who was there: This Gamescom 2011 press conference featured Blizzard senior game designer Jonny Ebbert, game director Tom Chilton, art director Chris Robinson, lead designer Josh Mosqueira, game director Jay Wilson, and senior vice president Frank Pearce. Together, the group discussed Blizzard's latest additions to Diablo III, Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and the upcoming World of Warcraft patch v3.4.

The highway to hell just got a lot bumpier.

What they talked about: Wilson kicked off the discussion by announcing that Diablo III will include a new difficulty mode, Inferno, that will supersede Hell as the highest difficulty mode in the game. Inferno is designed to challenge level 60 characters (the max level in the game) by pitting them against level 61 enemies. It also "flattens the game," as Wilson described it, by making everything--specifically all the difficulty-restricted loot--available for your character to find.

All of this shiny new gear won't be just recycled low-level items, either. Wilson stressed that the design team has been working hard to produce new artwork for all the Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno-level gear. Playing on these higher difficulty settings will also make the enemies harder and "more interesting." Enemies on higher levels will have more health and deal more damage, which in turn raises how aggressive they are. These hyperaggressive foes will seek out new ways to kill the players, including using the new monster powers unique to these modes.

Ultimately, Wilson hopes the end-game content in Diablo III will keep more players engaged for longer than it did in Diablo and Diablo II.

Ebbert went next and recapped a lot of the information already known about Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. This included a brief overview of the expansion's story, (spoiler alert: Kerrigan is back!), an explanation of the battle focus system, and the fact that players can upgrade and evolve Zerg units. He also noted that the campaign for Heart of the Swarm will span 20 missions, as well as include new multiplayer maps and units. What those units are, and what upgrades players can expect from Battle.net, will have to wait until Blizzcon in October.

Chilton was third up with an overview of the upcoming World of Warcraft v4.3 patch. This update will include the new Deathwing raid, featuring a climactic final battle against the monstrous dragon. Chilton was quick to note that this will be "the most epic encounter we've had to date," adding that players will, during one stage of the battle, be fighting atop Deathwing's back as it flies through the air.

Although he didn't go into any details, Chilton also mentioned that the update will include three new five-man instances.

The bulk of his presentation was spent explaining the three new game mechanics coming in patch v4.3. At the top of this list was transmogrification. This will let players further customize the look of their avatar by combining the appearance of one armor piece with the stats of another. This means a player can dust off an old or low-level piece of armor they thought looked cool and override its stats with those of a more current one.

However, there are some restrictions to prevent total confusion. To be combined, two armors must be the same type--meaning leather goes with leather and mail goes with mail. There is also a class restriction in place, so don't expect to mix a warrior's chest piece with a hunter's. Further, players can't make anything look like a legendary item.

Second was void storage. For a fee, players can gain access to a much larger storage area where they can store items long-term and free up room in the bank. The last item discussed was the new raid finder. This feature extends the services provided by the dungeon finder to raids. Players can specify the types of roles needed, and the finder will build a team of up to 25 players. Chilton hopes this addition will "open up raid content" for newer players, as well as make raiding "much less of a hassle" for experienced players. When asked if the raid finder would be restricted to individual servers, he responded that it will be a cross-server service to help keep queue times to a minimum.

Quote:"If there was a team free and available to create a different [Starcraft] game, we would, but right now we're very busy supporting our other games."--Frank Pearce, on the possibility of returning to Starcraft: Ghost or a new, non-RTS Starcraft game.

Takeaway: If the question and answer session was any indication, fans and press alike are still very cautious about the inclusion of a real-money auction house in Diablo III. Wilson urged audience members to remember that trading items for cash or otherwise was something that would have happened regardless in Diablo III. Now, players will have a secure channel to conduct those transactions.

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122 comments
Jeremy0522
Jeremy0522

Sigh... Im really tired of blizzards crap they need to stop letting activision pull them down before activision got in the picture things were looking good. Real money AH for a dungeon crawler is a joke completely irrelevant just dumb a AH in general is dumb in my opinion i think ill be passing on this and going with Torchlight 2.. Ahh and more BS WoW updates i give it to them for trying to keep the game alive but plz stop just plz add content but ease up on the crap thats not needed what so ever if you want raids to be easier to get groups for lower the amount of players needed not a system that guarantee you to get horrible people in your group

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@J4m3sR4n0r72 You are more than welcome. Quite an astute synopsis on our horrid educational system, how a nation as successful as ours can have a failing educational system is appalling.

J4m3sR4n0r72
J4m3sR4n0r72

@JimmyJimJim Thank you for pointing out my spelling error. I didn't notice it until you pointed it out. I'm not being sarcastic here. @olemissman19 That type of attitude is just one of the reasons our educational system is not what it used to be.

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@olemissman19 I'd argue earnestly that only troglodytes don't, simply because they lack the cognitive ability to retain rudimentary knowledge and will go through life as bottom feeders the janitors and garbage men of the world. You have fun with that, I'll be the scrub who uses his brain to have a good life. Never a truer aphorism.

travturn44
travturn44

max level 60? lame...it should be 99

pcty
pcty

I'm a big fan of the Diablo franchise but I'm not really excited about Diablo III this game is looking really bad and the developers are making very dumb changes in the game. I'm guessing this game is going to fail. I hope that I'm wrong.

DragFire24
DragFire24

So 10 years... THIS is it? ... :/ already old.

megakick
megakick

Gj Not changing a thing Blizzard, Phantasy Star Online 2 Already looks better then this game.

gabrielnd
gabrielnd

Whata.... Why did someone make an expansion for SC 2 just to include 20 new missions? What they are thinking about?

drokmore
drokmore

One of the best parts of D2 was that your character could get ever stronger by leveling up. That was part of the whole challenge to see how high I could get my hardcore characters in comparison to the rest. Blizzard doesnt seem to realize they taking away all the addictive qualities that brought us all back to D2 over and over again.

PseudoElite
PseudoElite

I am extremely uncomfortable with the real money AH, I forsee people getting scammed and inflated prices for virtual items.

IRoxxorUrSoxxor
IRoxxorUrSoxxor

I want to see no more Zod rune scumbaggery. All of the content should actually be possible for players to enjoy legitimately. No more of this 65.7 million level 85+ monster kills per zod rune bull****. I mean, if runewords from the last game could only be made with legit runes, 99.995% of the player base would never have access to them. Those are all real numbers, btw.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

"Upcoming"? Funerals are upcoming too but I don't want to wait that long for D3 @olemissman19: if by "scrubs", you mean people with a moderate education that care about how they present themselves to other people? Than I'm a scrub too. (Funny, you'd think a scrub would be the opposite of what I just typed. I guess it's opposite day for olemissman.) Love to see you tell them that on a job interview. lol I'm gonna "go get a" life now. :roll:

paxis85
paxis85

I think DragonRift pretty much summed it up nicely. On a side note, it would probably help the world accept the gaming community more if we didn't act like immature trolls the moment developers make a requirement out of something everyone already has. Take for example HD graphics and PC gaming. it would be a problem if all PC games had to run in HD because not necessarily everyone owns an HD enabled monitor, but being connected to the internet all the time? That would only have been a valid complaint over 10 years ago for crying out loud.

DragonRift
DragonRift

To people who are complaining about "having to be online all the time".... You have to be online all the time to access the internet in general. If you're using your computer at home, you either have DSL or broadband, making it so that you're pretty much online 99.9% of the time, aside from those irritating hiccups we all experience. I don't get it. This is like people who complain about government-mandated healthcare, but fail to ignore the existence of Medicare. How often do you play games with a completely OFFLINE connection on your PC? Blizzard's battle.net servers are far more stable than others, so unless you have dial-up, I really don't see the reason why so many of you are pitching a fit over it. "OH NOEZ! THEY WANT ME TO BE LOGGED-IN TO PLAY!" Yeah, whine-whine. I'll still see many of these exact same people in line to purchase D3 upon its midnight release.

FkThisName
FkThisName

So, does inferno mean doing the exact same content 4 times instead of 3 times like Diablo II?

olemissman19
olemissman19

@jimmyjimjim Only scrubs care about spelling, go get a life

olemissman19
olemissman19

@raspotts um.. I have a battle.net account and all u give is ur name and what games u have... what are u even talkin about as far as " give all ur info". Where do u get ur info dude...

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@J4m3sR4n0r72 What's really "stoopid" is not knowing how to spell stupid. oh the satire!

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

I still find that the Diablo 3 auction house thing a little pointless, but people are getting a little over-dramatic about it. There's still the regular auction house that doesn't require actual money, so really, it's pointless to start freaking out about something that's optional. That being said, it is a little disappointing that you need an internet connection to play Diablo 3. But all of Blizzard's games have been fun. But if your power goes out in the middle of a game, you're screwed. Also, I hope Heart of the Swarm will actually be worth $40. What it really comes down to is this: 1: A lengthy campaign with a meaningful story. 2: Plenty of new and great maps. 3: Fun, yet balanced new units. So, overall, Blizzard's new games and expansions will either suck or be amazing. Let's see the path they take.

acerpg007
acerpg007

Little disappointed about their Anti-piracy style where you need to have an internet to play Single-player. :(

arsenic911
arsenic911

Every time I read something about Diablo 3, I feel more and more disappointed.

dre256x
dre256x

@ slimmways Lets talk business sense here, here you have your only ''Cash Cow'' product which is ''WoW'' and you going to kill it off. Now if you do that then comes the layoff etc.. Blizz knows WoW peak days are gone and that was to be expected. Xpac's bring back folk even if its just for 1month. Blizz know because of wow popularity, everything they put out will be scrutinize, weather its not enough or too easy etc. The very fact is WoW has gotten too big for blizz to please everyone and while everyone see a lost of sub to be a downward time, thing is the game is 5+yrs old and still have over 9mil person worldwide and it would be utterly foolish to think and game that old would get any more popular.. Blizz stated as long as the have a good amount of paying customers to keep WoW profitable, it will stay open. If blizz next MMO game is to launch 2013 or 2014, i don't see wow not being profitable until then.

slimmways
slimmways

ok listen up they are doing this because they actually want to die off WOW do to the new game they are have under production i have been playing wow for 2yrs now love the game but for real stop complaing if you dont like it go play something else. look at it this way wow is the best mmo blizz makes the game ok blizz will be the only people to out do that game period. look it up its under code name titan well was dont know if they have changed it but from what here it will be the game to end wow. face it wow has been going on forever it seems like. they cant really take the game any further so now it is time to kill it with something alot better and hopefully has alot better graphics. peace im out.

raspotts
raspotts

Here's my view on this. To play this game, you have to make a Battle.net account. I don't know how much personal information you have to give them, but it seems to be a lot. American companies are regularly being cyber-attacked for personal and other information. Having the game on Blizzard servers may save the game from piracy, but it won't save the user from it. Also, after the RealID fiasco, I for one don't trust Activision-Blizzard with personal information anyway, as they seem intent on converting battle.net to a social networking site, and doing so for some reason apparently requires publicly listing as much personal information on people as possible. I keep seeing advice from security experts that you should minimise how much information you give out. This is forcing the opposite. No game is worth risking identity theft for, in my opinion.

J4m3sR4n0r72
J4m3sR4n0r72

@LtReviews I would not go as far to say Blizzard sucks. Every Blizzard game I have played has been super fun. However, I will agree that this requirement of a constant internet connection to Blizzard's servers to play Diablo 3 is stoopid. Think about it, here's what can screw things up: 1: Your internet goes off-line for a while. 2: Blizzard's Battle.net servers our under scheduled maintenance. 3: Blizzard's Battle.net servers have crashed, 4: You have only a crappy dial-up internet connection. Seriously, I have no problem with the fact that they want to protect their products from piracy, but this is not the way.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@isandel1 no offline singleplayer. Litterally, you have to be online to play, even if it is singleplayer, and at all times. I am not going to play a game, that I will play alone, only to get disconnected when I lose internet connection. Blizzard sucks

sammoth
sammoth

@Valcrist08 Wow sometimes I don’t understand fan boys. Please learn to punctuate and form some sort of sentence structure. Most of what you posted is babble. You could of summed it up as “I love Blizzard”.

ff7nation
ff7nation

Valcrist08 Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:44 pm PT wow can you guys not read? Fee as in GOLD not actual money, get your facts right before you start dissing WoW.. God all people do is diss blizzard these days, they try and try to please the millions and millions of complainers and gamers out there.. They easily still make some of the best games out there and dedicate way more time to there games then most and all people do is complain about them. People claim they are greedy but yet people dont complain about spending out rages prices on DLC for over priced console games? 65$ for games with less content more DLC i mean good lord people..

So you are ok paying $25 for a simple server change, $30 for a Race change, $30 for a Faction change, $10 for a NAME change, and the other nominal fees. See how I said FEES, because that is what a FEE is, REAL money. Can you point out where they say "you will be gaining access to this void storage by means of in game gold." Oh wait, it says for an additional FEE. What do you pay monthly to play...a MONTHLY FEE. Maybe you should L2R before you tell others. Also, go play Rift for a week and then come back to WoW. Tell me how you feel.

ff7nation
ff7nation

Mystoksor Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:18 pm PT @ff7nation: it costs in-game currency, not real dollars. I'm no Blizzard fanboy, but I can't stand those who bash the company without reason. There's a reason Blizzard has the most popular MMO on the market; they couldn't accomplish what they have with a treadmill grand that appeals to the lowest common denominator. The article specifically says " for a fee" which would mean extra REAL money. If it was just a few thousand gold, they would have said the rough amount. Also, I gave my reasons for what I was saying. I used to love Blizz, but in the last few years, they really have gone downhill and BLATANTLY only care about getting money. If you can not see that, then you are blind.

darkbuky
darkbuky

@linksfire Copper and silver? Really? DAMN They removed the inventory limited in square and now they add those stupid money system. BUT... I'm pretty sure this game will be the most awesome game ever made until D4.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

yuck. How about another expansion for Diablo 2 already? 1280x1024 graphics would be nice...

linksfire
linksfire

level 60 ay... starting to feel even more like wow im afraid. I don't want to admit it... im trying to blind myself from that fact... please just let it be my imagination. i didn't wait this long to play a diablo game remade in wow's image. Next thing you know the gold will be the same as in wow and instead of getting like 3 or 400 gold from a kill we will be getting copper, silver, and gold at crappy rates.

rez0041
rez0041

Diablo III I hope play this game at 2011.I will change my computer for this game.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

I don't know about D3 any more. I don't know about Blizzard any more. for some reason I really want to blame Activision.

isandel1
isandel1

Come on gays diablo 3 has a lot of options: 1) you can play one or all of five characters in the game. 2) Lots of skill to play. 3) Items to customize your hero . 4) Very solid rune system which gives your hero even more options to spec depending skills and items you find. 5) what contribution the items having to your hero For ex. If you put to your hero magic find 10% items yes it will be possible to find better gear but you are going to lose somewhere else. 6) Real money AH if you like to buy or sell staff for cash. 7) Sell or buy items for gold in the game. 8) Collect materials from items and gain levels to your crafters. 9) Gems and sockets which is very important to your final build. 10) You can play with your friends online. 11) Followers for solo mode if you like or with your party if things go really bad. 12) PvP arenas to test your build against other players. 13) Challenging modes : normal, hard, hell, inferno. What more do you need??? Expansions going to give you that. Over all it will be a very good and solid game to play with. I trust Blizzard will do their best to satisfy us all. It is Diablo 3 for god’s sake and we must be thankful that we are going to play it. I only hope my 13 numbers don’t bring bad luck 

isandel1
isandel1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

sammoth
sammoth

@Joe295159 Yep Titan i know about it the point is they been workign with 3 IP's for many years now. It's time to expand.

sammoth
sammoth

@bonzibuddyxxx, bramterris Ok since you guys know all your facts I'll pull links for mine. http://www.metacritic.com/feature/game-publisher-rankings-for-2010-releases EA ranks number 5 Blizzard 6 Take 2 #1 The point was and apparently both of you can't read was about being the biggest publisher/ developer of PC games. Overall Take 2 and EA are tops. Get out of your little Blizzard fan boy world for a min and check your FACTS. BTW bonzibuddyxxx I was not just taking about developers/publishers too. I know Valve is great and I love steam but, that’s not the point. Also Bramterris Take 2 made GT4, La Noir, Borderlands not just Civilization sold very well on PC don't know where you buy your games. WTF does Exclusives have to do with anything? It's about total sales and being a top developer. Learn to read the post a bit more before you post please.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Paying for extra storage in WOW is just stupid.

keith21uk
keith21uk

Diablo III news: Only level 60? I thought they would go down the diablo II root of 99. I guess its to make programing the game easier with skills and such. Hell mode was difficult in diablo II wonder what inferno will be like in diablo III. Well I think it will be a good addition to have another further challenge! They did state earlier in development of the game that it will have no subscription fees. I hope they stick to that. They already have billions coming in from World of Warcraft and always will do.

Majkic666
Majkic666

well only lvl 60 that is disappointing! compared to Diablo 1 and 2 they will probably force people to buy some bad expansion (like in wow) so you get 10 more lvls

Dimebag_Darrell
Dimebag_Darrell

"Chilton hopes this addition will "open up raid content" for newer players, as well as make raiding "much less of a hassle" for experienced ones. When asked if the raid finder would be restricted to individual servers, he responded that it will be a cross-server service to help keep queue times to a minimum." Yes, because this worked so ****ing well with the dungeon finder and its 20 minute long queues for DPS for any dungeon. The last time i played WoW raiding was a mess of "what is your ilvl and do you have at least the first two bosses down." Now it will be, "Who has what achievements? Half our DPS is new to this raid?" {/tanks leave /heals leave} All DPS: "MOTHER****ERS! Now we gotta wait 2 hours for new tanks and heals to add and hope they don't drop too!"

howie1926
howie1926

@babyrhinos People are actually complaining about that?? Wow thank you for putting them in there place. Saved me some time. :)

babyrhinos
babyrhinos

Wow. Those of you who are complaining about the amount of IP's Blizzard has need to shut up. First of all, all three IP's are considered instant classics the second they are released, each and every IP is different and has different kinds of gameplay, annnddd they all have incredible stories with heaps of lore. Blizzard makes incredible games for everyone. Blizzard never lets us down (name one game they made that was average or below average). HECK! They've been able to keep World of WarCraft popular and fun for like 7 years! They listen to the community, and I think they're some of the best developers ever. In fact, the only thing I don't like about them is Activision, and I don't even think Blizz has allowed Activision to change anything. Besides, Blizzard is going to create a new IP, Titan (whatever that is). I can't wait to see what it is, because knowing Blizzard, it'll revolutionize the industry. Again.

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

@ xXFr34k_0uTXx Maybe you should read my post again. Just because i said i'm getting a bit worried about Blizzard trying to get more money out of use with micro transactions i'm suddenly an "inexperienced" Diablo 2 player because i didn't use a program you used (yes i had heard of it but chose not to use it) or somebody who can't except change (don't know where you pulled that one from) I know the in game auction house comes in two forms, one with real world money and one with in game money, both being optional and I've read why they are doing it and how it'll work so i don't need to "read-up" on it. I said in a column about it on Gamespot that i won't be using it as part of the fun of playing Diablo 2 was getting loot myself by actually playing the game and not bidding in an auction house. I'm not saying i'm not getting Diablo 3 cause of "changes", I actually pre-ordered it a few months ago, i just questioned their choice to cap the maximum level at 60 considering there are now 4 difficulty levels compared to Diablo 2 and how micro transactions have creeped in since the merger/take-over with Activision. Maybe you shouldn't make so many assumptions and not get so defensive because "people like me" don't agree with your point of view.

Mewi
Mewi

@StephenKimbro Classic is a waste of time , only like 10 real people play it still ;P

wonzan
wonzan

Wow, Blizzard really knows how to squeeze money out of its fanbase. I mean, there is profiting and then there is Blizzard profiting! Can't say I'm a fan of that style of business where the only customers that matter are the ones that can afford to pay the massive profit margins and those that can't are ignored. Sure game companies need to make profits but wow....