Diablo III: Core Mechanic Changes Delay Release
Scrolls of Identification are now gone. Items still need identifying but the player no longer needs to waste bag space carrying around scrolls, having the ability to appraise items in the field whenever they wish.
The Mystic Artisan is also gone, as her item customization was “superfluous” to the game. While the artisan might make a return in the future, removing her now should hopefully bring the game release forward.
The Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube are both gone, so players now must make frequent trips to town to empty their inventory. To replace the Nephalem Cube, town blacksmiths will now be able to salvage items along with their other duties. On top of this, white quality items can no longer be salvaged.
The Diablo II method of monsters “exploding” in a shower of (mostly useless) items also makes a glorious return.
To offset this new torrent of items, the ‘Stone of Recall’ has been changed to a ‘Town Portal’ spell, allowing players to easily move to and from the battlefield. Blizzard claims that doing this allowed players to “take a break” from combat as well as make more tactical decisions about the items they pick up, use, and sell.
Most importantly is the overhaul to character stats. The entire stat model has been thrown out, and the new stats will hopefully simplify the game. Each character now largely has its own stat (Barbarians use Strength, Demon Hunters and Monks use Dexterity, Wizards and Witch Doctors use Intellect, and all classes benefit from Vitality). While this means that items are now largely tailored to one specific class, having to overhaul the entire item database will undoubtedly take time.
Finally – and on a slightly duller note – the blog hints that the skills and runes systems are receiving a major rework, potentially pushing back release even further. While no information has been released yet, Blizzard’s ‘Soon™’ stamp is all over this new revelation.
Blizzard justified the changes as being necessary to make a “great game”, and while this news has incited the rage of many Diablo fans, it may be these “necessary” changes that make the game truly worth waiting for.