We know that this is going to cause many of you, our hardcore gamer and statistics analysts, to freak out. Please take a few moments to freak out…
Ok, now that it’s out of your system, let’s go into the what we’re planning to do for you, and also potential features for the future.
We need to make sure that the game at its most basic level is easy to understand, quick to pick up and play, and has a strong immediate focus on the gameplay, and not mathy number-crunching and novella-sized skill descriptions. These are the pillars that we believe a game like Diablo firmly rests for the vast majority of players. It is first and foremost an Action RPG, and we put a lot of weight into the first word. For you, the people here every day or week picking apart skill math and statistics, we realize you crave something deeper, and we’re absolutely intent on providing you all of the information you’d ever need.
Take a look at the skill information on the Diablo II Arreat Summit for barbarian combat skills: http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/skills/barbarian-combatskills.shtml We think that is a great amount of insight into the mechanics of the skills, and it’s a great example of what we want to make available for you here on the Diablo III website. We all have to agree though that it’s a ridiculous amount of information to try to display in-game, especially through a tooltip. Let's be clear though that our intent isn’t to force anyone to alt-tab to get game information. The tooltip information we’ll be providing, as well as very basic concepts of players getting and equipping more powerful items, will be plenty to get all players through the game, at least on Normal.
Some of you have been discussing tooltip complexity and more than a few times the World of Warcraft solution of having two different sets of tooltips (simplified and normal) has of course not escaped us. It’s a solution we’d like to explore, but if we did it’s extremely likely that our “normal” tooltips would be the toned-down versions we’re working toward now, and the “simplified” would be even more basic, giving game intent advice in place of any numbers. It’s something we’d like to explore but it’s still something we’ve yet to design, and could very well be something we don’t end up getting into the game.
In closing we wanted to give everyone a heads up because we know there are going to be some conclusions about our intents, and we wanted to share some ideas of having something similar to what Diablo II players could find on the Arreat Summit back in the day.