[neowulf] Do you believe that the cash shop will wind up dragging the best items out of the economy? There seems to be little reason not to sell your ultra rare items for cash rewards. Won't this lead to a model where those who spend the most will be the best geared? Does Blizzard see this effecting the game long term?
I don't think it's a big issue, and here's why. So let's say you are... if you don't have any time invested into the game, or money, well, you're probably not going to be very successful. I'll admit that.
But let's say you have a situation where you can invest a lot of time, but have no money, or you don't want to spend a dime... well, you're gonna find good items. It's mathematical - you WILL find good items. It may not be the items you want, but you will find them. You can put them on the Auction House, and earn currency to buy whatever items you want, without putting a single dollar of your own currency into the system.
Originally we planned to have a listing fee, and we struggled to find ways to remove it, and finally did - so that players don't have to invest money into the Auction House if they don't want to. We thought that was essential - being able to trade with virtua; currency should not mean you have to open your wallet.
So I don't t think anyone needs to worry.
And you know, if you look at Diablo 2, there were lots of traded items, and they traded in the essential equivalent of a an Auction House, even with money changing hands. They'd trade with friends, or with random people, and I think that now we have the Auction House, I think people will trade there too. I don't think it'll hurt the game at all.
[NukeJockey, for clung3] Is there any particular reason you stuck with the Diablo 2 style controls, instead of having a traditional KB+M option?
Like a WASD setup? I'm going to assume that's what they mean... and yes, we played around with it, and we thought it felt awkward. When you are trying to take direct control over an isometric character... if you think about an FPS, where you use WASD, you have an analogue input, which is the mouse. When you think about in terms of the Diablo-style, your mouse becomes your aim, not a control mechanism; so you have no analogue input. You're literally talking about a character that can only move on eight axes - it works, but it doesn't feel awesome.
So when we looked at games that did it, and we played around with it a little, we thought it felt kinda clumsy. To us, that's not Blizzard-quality; so we said, no, we're not going to do it. We even had some people who said, 'Well, how about we support it?', and I would say that the hardest thing you will do, to get right in a game, is controls, and the worst mistake you could ever make is to have two control schemes; you're basically taking the hardest thing in your game, and doubling it.
[lhsan] Any particular reason they removed the ability to loot dead player corpses in hardcore?
Yes - it was done for two reasons. Well, there's also a technical issue, to do with how we designed the game, but that could have been overcome if we wanted to go that way. But I'd say the two main reason are we didn't want people to find ways to exploit, or to steal items from other people. We just didn't - we have a prime directive of 'do no harm to the co-op game'; anything that can essential create these instances where players benefit from the downfall of others... is a bad thing.
We already think there will be problems with people trying to get Hardcore players killed, if they think it's funny - you will have some griefing like that. That's stuff we can't help, but the thing I would tell people is to be real careful going through Waypoints and player Portals when you're in Hardcore. Unless you can trust that other player, you need to be careful where you're teleporting! But to some degreem, that, also, was the choice for Hardcore; we're not MAKING anybody play like that, and I'm actually in favour of things that Hardcore MORE hardcore. I think having player corpses NOT be lootable makes it MORE hardcore, because what would happen in D2, is that you could play with your friends, and if you died you wouldn't lose your items, because they'd loot them for you and give them back - that doesn't sound very hardcore to me.
I think as a designer, you're trying to make a game, y ou very rarely get to be evil; but this is the one case where, you know what? If you don't like it, you're not hard enough - and I get to say that and people will cheer! (I did - Ed)
And I say that as a person who probably won't play Hardcore, becuase I don't want to lose my character!
There you go, folks - Jay was a pleasure to chat to, and we have even more questions of our own we'll get to next week. Stay tuned!