'Reaper of Souls' Definitely Coming to Console

D3 developers Matthew Berger and Josh Mosqueira talk console Diablo III, the eventual PVP system, and more

Reaper of Souls
The Diablo III 'Reaper of Souls' expansion is "definitely" coming to the console Diablo III, according to Matthew Berger, a senior level designer on the console development team for Diablo III. In an interview with Berger and game director Josh Mosqueira, they answered questions about the changes in the console versions of Diablo III, the development process for the PS4 version, and why the eventual PVP system will probably be the same on both console and PC. The interview was done recently, before the release of the console versions of Diablo III.

Here are some of the most interesting sections of the interview:
  • Reaper of Souls on Console - The Reaper of Souls expansion will definitely be coming to the console versions of Diablo III.

    Matthew Burger: "Obviously we wanna bring this expansion to console, we don’t exactly know how we’re going to do it yet (we haven’t announced that), and we’re going to treat the expansion in the same way we treated Diablo III when we moved it onto console, which means that we have to make sure that it is adapted to the console ecosystem in a way that is going to play the best way possible. So that's going to require some changes; some additions, some subtractions, just like we did with the original game, [but] it will definitely come to console."
  • Item Changes on the Console - The itemization has been changed in the console versions, compared to the PC; it has been described as Loot 1.5. Once the console Diablo III team is working on bringing Reaper of Souls to the console, they will be updating it further.

    Matthew Burger: "[Loot is] something that Josh brought over to the console which is that we want to drop less loot, but of a higher quality, and so we are already doing that on console. So on console we already drop less loot than we do on the PC version of Diablo III, there's a higher chance of you getting upgrades, if you craft there’s a better chance of you getting an upgrade -- you get more Legendaries on console than you do on PC. However, once we start working on Reaper of Souls we're going to have to have another look at loot drops on console because, for instance one of the things we do is we drop very little White items; we convert practically all White items into gold which will function since White items are being used as crafting material."
  • Nephalem Glory Buff on Console - The console Diablo III has a new buff called Nephalem Glory.

    Matthew Burger: "From time to time instead of getting a health orb you get a golden health orb. If you take it you get this buff and it gives you a bit of increased movement speed, a little bit of increased damage and a little bit of health regeneration. And from that point on, any time get a health orb it'll actually increase the potency of your Nephalem Glory buff -- and there are three levels: on the second level every time you hit enemies you have lightening that arcs between them and on the third level columns of light fall down on your target and cracks out, so that’s a really, really cool thing we've added."
  • Console Connections are Peer-to-Peer: Two console players online in Diablo III connect via peer-to-peer.

    Josh Mosqueira: "On the console side of things we’ve teamed up with Demonware, and those are the guys who do all the matchmaking for Call of Duty, so they've been really helpful."
  • PlayStation 4 Diablo III in the Works - There are multiple changes planned for the PS4 versions of Diablo III.

    Matthew Burger: "So we’re not going to be a launch title [on PS4], we’re releasing in 2014. And obviously next-gen is more powerful hardware so there’s going to be a little bit of a graphical overhaul, or update rather, and at this point we're looking at the controller and social features and how we're going to use those. What's important for us is anything we do with them enhances the experience and isn't just a back of the box checklist sort of a gimmick thing, so it's not a huge shaker that the first thing we have tried with the controller is how does it feel to interact with the inventory... that's kind of the natural one, and it's also the logical choice and in fact, because you don't have a select button anymore on the new PS4 controller, you have the touchpad, so we open the inventory now by clicking on the touchpad and because your thumb is already there you can then navigate [the inventory]. So that's an interaction that seems to work for us and it’s one we started looking at -- it's in prototype phase so we're still working on it, but anything past that, it would have to be something that will enhance the experience."
  • Diablo III PS3 Accounts Should Transfer to PS4 - When asked if the PS3 Diablo III accounts will carry over to the PS4, Matthew Berger stated, "So, that's what we want to do. We haven’t done it yet but our engineers tell us that we can and since that's what we want to [happen], that's our plan." This is in line with previous statements about the PS4 version using PS3 Diablo III accounts.
  • Social Features on the PS4 Diablo III - The PS4 version of Diablo III will have more social features built in.

    Josh Mosqueira: "We're going to find full ways of using [record, upload and share on the PS4]. On PC there's this good environment built around the streaming community and when I was first hearing about the PS4 and the Share button, I was really excited because I think console is finally going to get a glimpse into that full streaming, shared experience you get on PC."
  • PVP on Both PC and Console Diablo III - When asked if the eventual PVP system will be released "simultaneously" on the console and PC versions of Diablo III, Josh Mosqueira replied, "I wouldn't say simultaneously. Again we want to make sure that we get the PC version all sewn up, also we benefit from the staggered approach [so] we can take the time to make the right decisions for both [PC and console]. I at least personally don’t want to cop a lot of flak if we release on one and not the other, so I hope that whatever solution we come up with is one that really works and has a lot of potential on both sides."
Read the full interview at AusGamers for other tidbits of info.
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