Ever since Blizzard announced Diablo 3 on June 28, 2008, I’ve been thinking about it. While not a big fan of World of Warcraft (partially because it ruins lives, but that’s another story), I’m an incredibly big Diablo fan.
I figure that it’s still early enough in the development process that I can suggest some features in the hope that someone relevant will come across this post in time for it to matter.
I’m under the assumption that the art, sounds, and play style will be great. These are more reflections on hours and hours of Diablo 2 gameplay. I’d also like to know what you’d like to see (or not see) in Diablo 3. Comment! Also note this isn’t intended as a summary of all that we know about Diablo 3 right now – for something closer to that, I found this page to be a good resource.
I’d like Diablo 3 to be released before Duke Nukem Forever. If by some miracle, Duke Nukem Forever is released before Diablo 3 is ready, I’ll let them have this one. I want a polished game with a lot of replayability instead of a speedy development. Thus, I agree with Blizzard’s Diablo 3 FAQ:
When will Diablo III be released?
It’s too early to estimate Diablo III’s release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players.
As I’m sure I’ll have the relevant equipment by the time it’s released, I’d like the game to scale all the way up to 1080p. That would be shiny, and correspond to the graphical assets console devs have had for a while now.
As for particular graphical elements, I especially like the graphical style of elemental weapons (fire-enchanted swords are flaming, etc), and the extremely detailed level design I’ve seen. The new ‘dashboard’ style (borrowing well-tested elements from WOW) is a sleek upgrade from d2’s interface, and allows more resolution independence.
Item/character storage space
I’d also like more characters per account. Having a billion items and five slots in which to place them was one of my major frustrations of Diablo 2, as was needing several accounts to keep them in.
I liked a lot of the things included in the Diablo 2 map hack; it was particularly useful when going back and leveling up. I know that would be pretty open for abuse, though. Perhaps when you’ve beaten the game at that difficulty level a certain number of times you can set it to automatically show you the entire map.
I don’t want people to abuse the game, but when you’re replaying a certain quest, you don’t want to wander around trying to find the right area. I do like the updated graphical look and position of the map (as compared to Diablo 2) as seen in the gameplay trailer, though.
I didn’t like how D2 was so dependent on potions. The health globe thing Blizzard showed us in the gameplay trailer looks like it will help, especially as it heals the entire party. I was never really a fan of ‘hardcore’, so I’m no stranger to dying, but I’d prefer it balanced so that dying is… unlikely… or at least, unusual for players that know what they’re doing.
If loot is generated per-player, it would eliminate the need for auto-grab hacks. If you pick it up and drop it, teammates can grab it. I applaud this known design decision and only regret that I didn’t think of it myself. Hopefully, items available only to you and items available to everyone will be visually distinguishable.
I like the character skills they’ve demoed; and I especially appreciate the need to use said skills strategically, and the visual appearance of each skill. For example, the use of stomp to make enemies drop their shields is rather clever, and details such as those will add new detail to the gameplay. The way the ground around the barbarian shatters after a stomp is a nice touch.
Now I’ll go by character class as to specific requests. To see the full list of announced D3 character classes, see Diablo III – Character Classes.
As for picky changes, it’d be nice if they made whirlwind a bit stronger- when I played a barbarian, it was just as fast to use double swing and significantly increased run speed, especially if you had mana leech. I’ve toyed with the idea of entirely new skills being introduced in each (distant future) patch and/or expansion, but that could lead to some difficult balancing work. While we’re at it, beef up the war cries, if they’re coming back. When was the last time you saw a high-level war cry barb? That’s what I thought.
The Witch Doctor seems to be a clever way to combine the Necromancer and the Druid. I approve of this, as it will likely take the best from each class, keeping the game somewhat original. This is purely speculation, though – Blizzard may yet decide to include a Necromancer.
While not officially confirmed, there’s bound to be some sort of spellcaster. As I played a barbarian, I usually thought that sorcs were overpowered, and ice sorcs overpowered other configurations. It’d be nice if there was a wider variety of elements for them to spend their skills on.
I’d prefer it if we could avoid the crazy bug where you had to traverse halfway through the level to get inside the palace at the end of Act 2, to talk to the prince, to go back, to get out of the damn city. If we could avoid any similar level/gameplay design bugs, that would be GREAT.
Oh, and D3 had better have a cow level of some sort. That was awesome, even if it wasn’t an effective place to level by the time I started playing Diablo 2, due to changes in each subsequent patch. It’s that sort of humor that really makes a game worth playing.