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Reddit Developer Interview (PAX East 2018)

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Here's another PAX East 2018 interview with Lead Hero Designer Matt Villers and Production Director Kaeo Milker. Devs talk about Deckard Cain's kit, scrapped abilities and balancing new Heroes.

Find out more about Deckard Cain in our overview!

  • Deckard Cain is a Horadric mage. When designing his kit, they tried destructive magic first, but playtesters didn't enjoy the playstyle.
  • Next version of Cain's kit had an ability where he would channel on enemy Heroes to reveal them and reduce Armor. Channeling is risky though, especially for a Support and it didn't feel like a good trade-off.
  • A lot of things that were scrapped inspired future talents.
  • Cain initially had a buff inspired by "Nephalem Glory" (lightning + explosive attacks), but it wasn't exciting.
  • He had the ability to use Heroics of any Diablo Hero, but that didn't fit the fantasy.
  • Healing Potion (Q) was there from the start. The ability feels tactical and makes Cain use his wisdom to predict moves and outsmart enemies.
  • Horadric's Cube provides slows, Scroll of Sealing is for area denial.
  • They recorded multiple stories for Cain to tell enemy Heroes during his "Stay Awhile and Listen" ultimate.
  • Scroll of Sealing's initial purpose was to draw your own shape. You'd click a point and Cain would start to unfurl a scroll. That got scrapped, because it encouraged players to run into the enemy team for the best triangle shape and you don't want your Support to do that. 
  • One thing to keep in mind is that there's a learning curve when a new Hero comes out. They try not to undershoot too much so that the Hero isn't too difficult to learn at the start. After two weeks, they usually push the first patch to get everything adjusted from what they learned from live.
  • Blaze is a good example of a well-balanced Hero.
  • Hanamura had too much going on at once and that created confusion. It will be back soon™.
  • The game's constantly evolving and it may be hard to keep track of all changes and adapt. New players are presented with a bunch of new content at once. Voice chat is here to help with the issue, but it's an ongoing effort and a massive undertaking to stay on top of all the changes. The devs recently reworked Battleground objectives and made them more uniform and easier to understand. Target Info panel also provides useful information.

You can find the full interview here.

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23 minutes ago, Stan said:

Blaze is a good example of a well-balanced Hero.

Always told you guys he is the best on-launch Warrior in terms of pure balance. He is indeed unmatched in the hands of a pro, but he is neither overtuned or undertuned.

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To the uninitiated, the developer team is having a reddit AMA any day now. I'm not sure if that is newsworthy enough.

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58 minutes ago, Fliits said:

To the uninitiated, the developer team is having a reddit AMA any day now. I'm not sure if that is newsworthy enough.

It sure is! We always post AMAs and roundups. No date has been announced yet.

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Quote

He had the ability to use Heroics of any Diablo Hero, but that didn't fit the fantasy.

And thus we miss the opportunity to see the geriatric Deckard go "OOOOOhhhhhhhh   AHHHHHHH!", leap high into the air and crash down on enemies.  

 

Damn you, Blizzard.

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