The BlizzCon Diablo III open Q&A session was led by Jay Wilson, Game Director, and featured nine additional Diablo III developers on location at BlizzCon this morning.

From the hour-long session, we've learned the following...

On PvP:

  • PvP and PvE are completely separate elements in the game, and the focus is on PvE.
  • No PvP stats or skills will ever override PvE builds. PvP never affects PvE game balance.
  • Some stats may change in the PvP Arena, such as cooldowns.
  • The Arena, at this stage, is a flat environment. It's difficult to incorporate different elevations due to the new 3D engine.
  • At end-game, it's likely creating a perfect PvP char will be a drawcard for some.
  • Blizzard hasn't decided how to handle PvP guilds at this time.
  • No PvP-specific gear will be available.
  • Ears will not be stored in your inventory, but they will be included in the final game.
  • PvP Hardcore - you can die in the arena. If you don't want to die, don't go in the arena.
  • Actively trying to discourage the Arena from becoming an E-sport, as it will detract from the point of Diablo, which is to acheive superiority rather than balance.
  • Duel-spec probably won't be needed, as PvP won't have enough of an impact on PvE.
Diablo III beta

On balance:

  • Still four-player maximum for multiplayer, but this may change
  • No plans to allow regions to cross-communicate over Battle.Net at this time.

On the economy:

  • Artisans act as a way of extracting money from the game world.
  • There will be less gold in the world.
  • Trading system has been completely re-written to prevent duping
  • Artisans will offer a discount.

On lore:

  • Deckard Cain has spent the last 20 years finding ways to stop the invasion. Now the worldstone has been destroyed he's been preparing mankind for the invasion.
  • Different player characters will react differently to the story.
  • The destiny of the characters will continue based on previous lore.
  • All characters have the same background irrespective of gender, with the one exception being the Barbarian. The male Barbarian is from Diablo II, the female is a new character.

Bosses, gear, stats and UI:

  • End game not finalised yet, will wait until closer to beta.
  • Resistance is now a rating, like defence, rather than a percentage.
  • Triple immunity monsters unlikely to make an appearance.
  • Boss fights are "50% Diablo II, 50% Zelda" in design.
  • Armour more comprehensive than Diablo II. Rare dyes can be crafted.
  • Shared stash will be implemented. Stash is extremely large.
  • Characters will never be deleted from Battle.Net.
  • UI is minimised, choices are limited and complexity builds over time.
  • No WASD movement incorporated because it's "inferior".