Blizzcon 2011; Diablo 3: Gameplay and Auction House Panel
Diablo 3's development team took the stage at Blizzcon yesterday to offer a look at the design and direction of Diablo 3. Below, we have an analysis on how each of the new elements of play work
Achievements; Beyond player accomplishments, achievements are unlcoked from extreme or absurd behavior such as punching a boss without a weapon equipped or other such shenanigans. Unlocking achievements also gives you additional ways to cutomize your player banner.
Player Banners; You design these similar to the way you designed a tabard in World of Warcraft, except thesed offer rather unique twists on the classic formula. At the base of your banner, a pile of loot will show up based on how progressed you are in the game or how prestigous the rewards you have gotten are. More exciting though, is the banner's co-op function, which when clicking on a friend's banner when left in the city will teleport you directly to your friend, allowing for easy "jump-in, jump-out" co-op play.
Other conveniences added include a Hearthstone like Stone of Recall (No more buying town portals), the Cube of Nethilim which breaks down items for crafting mats or the Cauldron of Jordon, a built in vendor in your bag which buys things at a fraction of the sell price for the convenience of not having to go back to town.
At this point in the panel, Blizzard takes a look at some of the vendor's in Diablo 3. All vendors level up as you find Pages of Training, and are account bound. So let's say you level your Mystic up to level 10 as a Demon Hunter/ Jump into your barbariand or wizard, the Mystic stays level 10 and you can work on another vendor.
The first was the Mystic, who applies enhancements in certain areas such as gold-find, magic-find and core stats. Enchantments, unlike WoW, are random in the amount that they'll increase your stats with a base-low stat. The Mystic also allows for odd builds, such as using a melee weapon as a Demon Hunter, something not normally possible.
Next up was the Jeweler. The Jeweler can combine gems, combining more powerful ones as he levels up. He can also add sockets to items.He can also remove gems from items, meaning gems are resuable.
The Blacksmith offers up set bonuses while leveling for crafting sets of gear, offering better gear as he levels up.
So what can you do with gear once you get it from looting, crafting, trading or buying it from the Auction House/ You can wear it (obviously), give it to your friends, sell it on the auction house for gold or real money or you can salvage the items for mats which can be used for crafting or selling.
Auction House - New Features
Smart Search - Searches for stats you are focusing on on your character, auto-detects what your character is focusing on. You can tune this to look for speicific stats.
Advanced Search - You can look for specific stats, items, gems, that you need. Devs note that there aren't alot of named items so searching for stats is important.
Stackable Items - Taking a cue from WoW, you can stack multiples of items quickly and easily for AH sale.
The dev team noted that final tuning for the game is underway. They are trying to find a way to make all unusual builds viable, meaning you can play how you like. They also noted that Followers are viable in all levels of difficulty in Diablo 3.