Diablo 3’s new game director, like a country’s leader fresh to office, has made his inaugural pledge.
He is Josh Mosqueira, formerly of Relic Entertainment, hired by Blizzard to research getting Diablo 3 on console.
A key part of his message was loot and bringing back the thrill of finding it for yourself. “We want items to feel more meaningful, and we want players to be excited about the next loot drop,” he said.
And, more importantly: “We’re also looking into ways to reduce the impact of the Auction House. While we think the feature does provide a lot of value, it shouldn’t feel like the end-all-be-all force driving character progression.”
The amount of loot-drops will be lowered but the quality of loot will be improved. “Targeted Legendaries”, presumably tied to character class, will be introduced, and you’ll be able to customise your kit both visually and mechanically.
Keeping solo players and, particularly, online groups returning to tackle tougher bosses and challenges – the endgame – is high up the agenda as well. Randomisation is being addressed and new monsters and demons added.
“We hope you’ll agree that with each update, the game keeps getting better and better,” Mosqueira closed, “and we’re only just getting started.”
He didn’t mention PVP, which suggests group battles – duelling is already implemented – are further off. As far away as an expansion pack? Possibly – perhaps we’ll hear more at BlizzCon in November this year.
Diablo 3 has been patched plenty since its rocky start on PC in May 2012. There are also now confirmed console versions for PS3 and PS4, although nothing for either Xbox console – yet.
So far all the talk has been about the PS3 version of Diablo 3, which doesn’t connect to Battle.net and doesn’t have either an Auction House or a Real-Money Auction House. It is also playable offline by four people in local, same-screen co-op.