Diablo III Crafting
It seems that not a lot of interesting news could be found on the Gamescon in the past week – or at least that’s the feeling I’ve been getting so far. One interesting piece of information is Blizzards revelation of the Diablo III crafting system which seems closer to World of Warcraft than traditional Diablo from what I can gather. It is quite nice of Blizzard to give us a little bit to talk about instead of keeping it all for the upcoming Blizzcon in October.
Diablo III’s crafting system is pretty straightforward: You gather recipes and resources that you can then use to create new items which in turn will improve your ability to create items. Resources are gathered in a way that’s very similar to World of Warcraft’s enchanting – you get to disassemble items you find into aforementioned resources, getting better resources the higher quality the item you disassembled had. No longer do you have to travel back to town every few minutes to sell the items you found, you can instead cut them into handy little pieces and carry those with you until you get around to giving them to your blacksmith in camp.
Also very similar to WoW is the way that new recipes are learned – some being available when reaching a new crafting level, some being dropped by monsters – and the fact that rafting is levelled up through use. One thing where Diablo might positively divert from WoW is the availability of top-end recipes. Diablo has always been about rare items that only a few people would ever get their hands on and I hope that this principle will be continued in the drop-rates of recipes. When playing the game in multi-player mode, crafting can only be made interesting and relevant if it isn’t trivial for each player to do his or her own crafting and if the crafted items are actually good enough to be worth the hassle of collecting raw materials and finding a crafter.
Diablo has never been about getting a specific item but rather of making do with what you have (with the exception of very dedicated high-level players wealthy enough to get exactly the items they needed) and before Diablo II’s Lord of Destruction expansion there were usually endless variations of high quality items available. Crafting recipes could make great use of random stats as well – allowing for many recipe drops to be had but rarely ever the same ones. Wouldn’t you like your crafter to be unique rather than interchangeable for pretty much any other player?
Whether the news system will be more closely built on Diablo II’s random drops or on World of Warcraft’s very strict (and very lame) recipe system, we’ll have to see. But the potential is there, which makes me happy.