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Session Name: Through the Grinder: Refining Diablo III's Game Systems
Speaker(s): Wyatt Cheng
Company Name(s): Blizzard
Track / Format: Design
Overview: As with all Blizzard games, Diablo III went through many iterations before the final product was released. Wyatt will describe different game systems that were attempted, explored, and then ultimately removed. We'll go into detail about the pros and cons of each system, what worked and didn't work, and how the team used each failure to bring them closer to success. 1. Health Recovery: From Regenerative Damage Shields to potion dilution, where potions become less effective as you drink them, many different health recovery mechanisms were tried. What were the major issues with each of these systems and how did it lead to health globes in the end? 2. Controls. At Blizzard, control is king. Although simple on the surface, a number of iterations were required to polish the Diablo III interface, in order to provide the player with tight and responsive controls. 3. Skill System: The skill system underwent multiple revisions. Early systems involved different variations of point spending, an evolution from Diablo II. Later systems had runes, with multiple rune ranks that dropped as items, which could be used to modify skills.

GDC 2013

Wyatt Cheng


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