Diablo 3 Gameplay Analysis

Discussion in 'Public General Chat' started by PhoenixDog, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. PhoenixDog
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    Stolen from diii.net forums. I'm bored and watching Supernatural, so I thought I'd just repost his post for everyone instead of just linking.

    I posted this over at the Battle.net Diablo III forums. Apparantly, it was edited removing all the information after "A gem" - you know, the stuff about the Barbarian skills and such.

    I guess Blizzard can do whatever they want on their own forums. This isn't their own forums though. They sure as hell can't sue me for it - taking screenshots from a publicly released video and editing them falls under fair use.

    = = = =

    I have watched the Diablo III trailer a few times, and I thought it would be nice to do a more in-depth analysis of what we have seen in the 19 minute gameplay video.

    I will be going over stuff sequentially and noting points in time for certain things so you can download the video and see them for yourself should you have a reason to doubt me.

    I have also included helpful images taken directly from the video and cropped a bit. Again, everything I have seen you can see for yourself!

    Skill Cooldown

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    Between 0:25-0:40, you can see the Barbarian use two skills. One of them triggers a WoW-style cooldown on the icon to the bottom left.

    Buff Icon

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    During the same time the cooldown is demonstrated, you can see that a buff icon appears on the bottom left of the screen. I can see they are making the game VERY different from WoW by having it completely on the opposite side of the screen. d:

    Cursor & Enemy Text/Health

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    During the combat starting at around 0:25, you can see that when the player hovers their cursor over an enemy it shows a health bar and their name (the enemies in the beginning of the video are "Ghouls"). The cursor also changes to a sword instead of the standard arrow.

    (Aside: bring back the damn gauntlet!)

    Impact Effect

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    At 1:59-2:03, we can see the Barb smash the ground with some sort of an attack. It leaves impacts on the ground, although they fade after a few seconds.

    Inventory

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    At 2:10-2:18, we can see the inventory screen come up. This picture shows the detail of it.

    Most of it is pretty obvious... we see equipment and weapon slots. But there are some things that raise questions.

    First, the inventory seems to be more like WoW now - every item takes up one slot. I am sure that item collectors will love this.

    But if we look closer, there are three major points of interest.

    First, the gold circle in-between the weapon slots. Does this serve some sort of purpose (like switching to an alternate weapon set ala LoD), or is it just decorative?

    Secondly, note that some of the item slots are filled and some are not. However, the inventory screen has a bunch of "blocked out" slots that make up most of the inventory. Apparantly, you can expand your inventory somehow...

    Which brings me to three: the four bag slots at the bottom right of the inventory screen. Slots for bags like World of Warcraft? Looks like.

    You can also see a small number on the scrolls: apparantly stackable items will have a small number on them showing how many of each you have. I feel bad for you people running insanely high resolutions. d:

    Item Hover & Info

    [​IMG]

    During the same time period of 2:10-2:18, we can see the player swap out his axes for some fancier ones. Again, some ideas taken from WoW and similar MMOs. Let's look at the details of the original axes first:

    [​IMG]

    And now the new items the Barb equips:

    We clearly see Magic items here: simple axes with an added elemental damage effect. Note that the elemental damage does not appear to be calculated in the overall weapon damage, which goes against the previous Diablo II mechanic of factoring in all damage into the weapon range.

    Also note it shows you the sell value of the item right on it, something you would only see in the merchant window in Diablo II. Apparantly they've taken some tips from WoW's AuctioneerAdvanced addon (and similar addons).

    Runes

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    On screen from 2:38-2:39, we see a Minor Power Rune. It seems that they may have ditched the ol' "Ral" "Ist" etc. naming convention and went for more descriptive (but simpler) names. Throughout the video you will see other sorts of runes drop as well.

    Elixir?

    [​IMG]

    From 4:23-4:27, we can see both of these items on screen. Minor Energy Rune seems simple enough, but what's an Elixir of Vitality? Why not just call it a potion? It seems to be something more complex. Will we have stat-boosting potions (like WoW's alchemy) in Diablo III?

    Items from the Trap Chest

    The items in the trap chest from 5:20-5:24 are:

    Gauntlets
    Plate Leggings
    Gothic Helm
    Plated Greaves
    Gothic Plate
    Plated Pauldrons

    While the trap is more "insidious" than the simplistic spawn traps of Diablo II, the functionality is very similar: after the trap is tripped, you still get loot. That is unless the chest is empty, after which point it would just suck to do all of that work for nothing.

    [​IMG]

    Loot from Trapped Chest

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    At 5:28-5:30, we see the inventory window come up. We see all of the items picked up in their proper places. A point of interest is that the Gothic Helm on the Barbarian (remember that they said items would look different on every class in the narration) seems to look like the classic Bone Helm from Diablo II.

    We are also showcased an item:

    With this item, we now have confirmed three of the classic Diablo II elements are in the current build of Diablo III: Cold, Lightning, and Fire. Joy!

    Ladder

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    At 5:44-5:47, we see the Barb click on a ladder and slide down it. This is evidence that Diablo III's dungeons may have multiple levels without having to go down stairs. It's a nice touch.

    Scripted events changing the level layout

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    At 5:52-5:56, we hear a monstrous sound (presumably the boss) and we see some rocks fall down and destroy a bridge. Apparantly scripted events can change the level. This tiny addition is welcome in my opinion as it brings a bit of flavor to the game and makes things more interesting.

    It also makes me wonder: what if the barbarian had walked into the rocks? Would he have died instantly? Sustained damage?

    [​IMG]

    What's more interesting, however, is that the Barbarian leaps across the chasm right after the rocks of dooooom fall. Okay, well, the leap itself isn't what's interesting. Anyone who has played Barbarian in Diablo II knows that he has the Leap skill and it has evidently carried over to Diablo III. The interesting bit is that crossing a chasm like this in Diablo II would only be possible with the Barbarian and any class that has teleport. So this begs the question: will alternate routes show up for certain situations like this, penalizing classes that do not possess such a skill by making them go around? Option B is that all classes have some sort of movement skill that would allow them to cross this chasm.

    Ever play Pokemon? In that game, you had to pick up special skills (like Cut) and teach them to your Pokemon to access certain areas. If you did not possess a Pokemon with that skill, you could not pass. Perhaps the same thing will be applied here. They have already stated that each class will have special quests just for them, so it is plausible that they will have their own routes throughout dungeons due to "roadblocks" like this.

    A gem

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    Right after the Barb lands and trashes some Zombies, we see a Chipped Star Topaz drop. Most of us are familiar with the old Diablo II format: [Quality] [Gem], like [Chipped] [Ruby], [Perfect] [Sapphire], etc.. What does the "Star" part mean? Is it just flavor text, like [Chipped] [Star Topaz], or is it some sort of new parameter like [Chipped] [Star] [Topaz]? Since they seem to be going more for direct information instead of flavor text ("Minor Power Rune"), I'm going to go with the "it's just flavor text" side of this debate for now.

    Another bit I noticed: in Diablo II you had to hold Alt for item text to show up on screen. Now it seems that the item text is always on screen after the item drops. I guess I can take my thumb off of the Alt key... for now.
     
  2. PhoenixDog
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    Divided into 2 posts due to a 15 image post limit


    Barb SMASH! ...with a wall

    Alright, here's one of the coolest parts of the video - something I'm sure we're all excited about. At 6:17-6:22, the barb knocks an entire wall down onto the zombies and makes them smush. Awesome!

    [​IMG]

    Also note the "Inferior Leather Gloves" in the bottom left corner. Apparantly, normal items will retain a similar "quality system" that Diablo II had: inferior items with worse stats and superior items with better stats.

    Spells, Stamina, Ranks, etc.

    I wager this one will spark a LOT of discussion. I am packing everything into one image for you to digest. It troubles me a little bit, to be honest.

    From 6:28-6:32 we see the player switch out some skills. Here is a picture showing ALL of the popup windows. For the visually impaired and lazy, I have included text as well.

    [​IMG]

    In no particular order:

    And lastly, we see a sword icon with the text:

    So, some of the easy answers. That orange sword icon we've seen up until this point? That's the normal attack button.

    Another change is that things are measured in finite ranges now. D2 and D1 vets have surely been accustomed to talking about screens - Bone Spirit, for instance, had a range of about 2 screens. Now we have "feet" in the calculation.

    A silly little note, defense is spelled "defence" in Battle Cry. Damn Canucks, spell like us red-blooded Americans! YEE-HAW!

    We can determine from the names that some of these attacks (Hammer of the Ancients, Furious Charge) were special attacks that we have seen the Barbarian using up until this point in the video.

    Everything aside from that is... well, world-changing.

    The first thing I noticed personally is the ranks and levels. Note that all of the spells has a rank, like 1/20. However, Whirlwind lists "Current Level" and "Next Level" as well as Rank. So what are the differences between ranks and levels?

    Next, all of the special skills list a consumption of Stamina. Since they obviously have not been consuming life throughout the video, we must assume that the Barbarian does not use Mana - he uses Stamina. It is possible that they changeed "Mana" to "Stamina" across the board, but I doubt it. I guess classes will have different kinds of "special ability energy" types, probably requiring different potions. Since we never see the Barb actually USE any potions to restore his Stamina (and it restores very quickly), I assume that they have copied the Warrior's Rage mechanic from World of Warcraft. It is an assumption mind you, an educated guess if you will. The evidence in this alpha build in this respect is far from conclusive, but the clues point towards a certain direction in design - at least with the Barbarian.

    Paladins will love this: Furious Charge seems to be very similar to the Paladin's Charge skill. So what does that mean with the Paladin? Is the Charge skill out for the Pally? Is the Pally out altogether? Who knows, but we do know that the Barbarian has a skill that was previously assigned to the Paladin.

    Mini-movies

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    From 7:27-7:45, we see an in-game mini cinematic of sorts play. This is a nice little touch that lets us see our characters in detail.

    Mercs and a notable item

    Right around 8:00, we see the mercs jump on board. Their pictures appear at the top left with health bars, just like in Diablo II. A simple mechanic that we all liked and worked pretty well.

    Also note in the picture a classic item of a certain class: Short Staff, the starting weapon for the Sorceress. This would be, in my opinion, a clue that there is a mage sort of class in the game. Yes, I am pretty sure it was going to be in the game anyway, but here is another little tidbit nonetheless.

    Small Bag

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    From 8:48-8:57, we see an item on the ground: Small Bag. So it looks like bags (like WoW) will serve some sort of function in Diablo III.

    Numbers popping up

    We see orange-colored numbers pop up at times throughout the gameplay video. They do not appear with every attack, nor every killing blow on a monster. My guess is that they are critical hits.

    The Menu

    With this little post nearing its end, I thought I would go over the menu.

    [​IMG]


    So this is the menu. The picture describes things pretty well I think, no? The ? next to the tiny 5 and 6 numbered boxes seems to be exclusively for scrolls, although I can not be sure. Perhaps they can be used for Potions as well? Blizzard obviously has not done away entirely with potions, and I doubt they would do away with a hotkey for them.

    Conclusion

    This concludes my analysis of the little details of the D3 Gameplay video. If you take the time to download the video and watch it carefully in fullscreen, you will pick up a lot of nice little things and you can learn a lot about what the game is really like now.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope you guys enjoyed all of this info!
     
  3. Vanguard
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    I love how people try to figure they game out just by the first trailer.
    I just wait and learn it as I play it myself.
     
  4. PhoenixDog
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    It's an analysis of the trailer. Pointing out little things. Should people not speculate about the story either? Screw guessing whats going on with Tyreal too. Since Blizzard hasn't told us yet there is no point in having fun right?
     
  5. Vanguard
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    Story makes some slight sense, it's interesting, speculation is healthy.

    But trying to master the game (or at least the barbarian) from 6 skills right off the bat seems a little excessive to me :/
     
  6. Sirius
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    Interesting, probably largely accurate. Slots 1-4 look like various skills (not sure exactly what that layout means for them though), slot 5-6 quite likely are reserved for scrolls/other usable items (would be potions if they had them). I honestly think L/R mouse buttons are the bigger two icons though. The other smaller one ... not sure. Middle perhaps? Shift+click or something to that effect? We'll find out I guess.

    I would also point out that Diablo 2 did not actually factor elemental damage into the weapon's damage figure. It did on the character screen, but the only thing playing into the other one was enhanced damage, +x to min/max damage or both.

    I suspect levels and ranks are really the same thing, since the numbers are lining up there, and ... in the context, that's what they sound like. It interests me that the maximum skill level in various things is different a la Hellgate or Mythos though. Back in Diablo 2, as most will remember, it was 20 for everything (before +skills from items of course), and about half of the skills in the game were pointless past rank 1.
     
  7. Vanguard
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    Teleport and Warmth come to mind, but only because I made a sorc most recently.
     
  8. Zarash
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    I have a thought about Level and Rank, Rank you can change when you get the points for it but for Level maybe that goes up as you use the skill.

    Or maybe they just haven't standardized the naming for things yet. Like they are trying to decide what name is better to use.
     

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