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I think that it would be great to add a quick ten-second quest that required you to actually use the Nephalem Cube after you get it, before the rest of the storyline continues. I have a feeling that people like my dad are going to get their cube, not pay any attention to it, and then go through the whole game (one playthrough of one class on Normal difficulty) having never used it or even really realizing they had it. But it's an awesome addition to the game, and should be pointed out more.
I watched my dad playing Mass Effect 2 over Christmas (which I got him for LAST Christmas) and I realized in horror that he had finished the first Mass Effect and half of the second one without realizing that there was a button that let you hide behind cover. This is the sort of person I'm talking about here.
Anyway, what I had in mind was something to the effect of: "Oh hey dude here's your Nephalem Cube. You can use it to extract magical components from items you find. Use it to disassemble an item you don't want and bring me the Common Scrap, and I'll give you this Crappy Iron Dagger." Or if it's too late to do any new voice acting for the blacksmith, that could always be a text-only quest. Just something to require that new players figure out what the cube is for and how to use it.
There's nothing much in the way of fanfare. Haedrig says something like "oh and it occurs to me that you don't have one of these cubes yet" and hands it to you. I don't even recall him explaining what it's for and he certainly didn't explain why he was giving it to me; I just hovered over the icon and was like "oh yeah that thing; I remember reading about that from some BlizzCon writeup a long time ago." Normal people don't read what's on the screen unless they have to.
The hearthstone thingy is a little clearer; you get a quest objective to use it. It seems like you should get a similar one for the Nephalem Cube too, especially since it's a more complicated feature.
So you're certain that no casual player will be interested in crafting?
I can imagine some people not realizing what the cube does or even that it exists, finding a few common scraps drop from monsters, try crafting and then realize they don't have enough, so they simply go "ok screw crafting then".
Being powerful is fun. Why should we strip that from them just because it's not a necessity?
Exactly. The much-loathed "casuals" in WoW love their crafting. Diablo III's is a bit simpler than WoW's but I can imagine the same people really enjoying it all the same. Those are the same people who aren't going to figure out how to get the items they need to actually craft anything because (at least in the beta) the scraps and essences almost never drop directly. They're also the same people who are going to be dying constantly in normal mode and could really USE super overpowered blacksmith gear with way too much vitality on it.
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