Gamescon 2011 is well underway and the guys over at Gamespot had a chance to meet with with desingers and artists of Blizzard to talk about their upcoming games and what we can expect.
Let’s start with Diablo III. This first thing that was revealed was the newest difficulty mode, Inferno, that will supersede Hell as the highest difficulty mode in the game. Inferno is there to challenge level 60 players (which is the max level in the game) by throwing in enemies that are level 61. Their goal here is to “flatten the game” but making everything – specifically all the difficulty restricted loot – available for your character to find.
My favorite part about their discussion was regarding the new gear. Their goal is to not have recycled low-level items, but new artwork for all the Nightmare, Hell and Inferno-level gear. Playing on harder difficulties will make the enemies much more difficult which will reward us with “more interesting” items. As you play on harder difficulties, enemies will have much more health and deal more damage, which in turn raises how aggressive they are. The hyper-aggressive foes will find new ways to kill players, including utilizing thw new monster powers to be unique to these modes.
Their ultimate goal: Keep end game Diablo III much more engaging and fun than it was in Diablo and Diablo II.
Next up was Starcraft: Heart of the Swarm. They recapped a lot of information we already know, including a brief overview of the expansion’s story. After an explanation of her battle focus system they also described how players can upgrade and evolve Zerg units. The campaign for Heart of the Swarm will be 20 missions and include new multiplayer maps and units. Without going into detail about the new units and upgrades will be, they did hint that we would have to wait until Blizzcon this October.
Finally, they brought up World of Warcraft and its final patch, v4.3. The update, as we know, will include the new Deathwing raid, featuring the “most epic encounter we’ve had to date,” in which players will be fighting atop the monstrous dragon’s back as it flies through the air. Players can also expect three new five-man instances, which they gave no detail about.
The majority of this discussion, however, was explaining the three new game mechanics coming in patch v4.3. The top of the list was transmogrification. This will finally allow players to further customize their avatar by combining the appearance of one armor piece with the stats of another. What this basically means is that a player can now finally take their favorite looking “old pieces” of armor and override its stats with those of a more current one. However, there are some restrictions to prevent total confusion. When combining two armors, they 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. Finally, players can’t make anything look like a legendary item.
Void storage was the next topic of discussion. For a fee, players can access a much larger storage area where they can store items long-term and free up some off their bank space. The last item to discuss 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. They hope 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