Streamlining the hardcore genre
Other changes include the removal of items and a change in jungling; the act of killing neutral enemies on a MOBA map for team resource allocation.
“Jungling is in,” Kim emphasized, “but not in the same sense back in the WarCraft III mod. We don’t have items, but we have a new talent system that lets you customize them outside and in the game. As you level up, you get three choices of active and passive boosts, as well as skill upgrades. If your opponent’s team is of a certain combination, we need a tank. An Arthas user can spec health or defense to help that.”
We used a lot of ranged characters on our playthrough with Diablo III’s Demon Hunter and StarCraft II’s Jim Raynor. The former used homing and wide-ranged shots, as well as the vault ability to get out of trouble quickly, while the latter had more passive abilities dedicated to longshots and health-chipping.
As we let our heavy hitters on our team do most of the clean-up, we used the talent tree to bolster our damage-dealing capabilities and active attacks. Essentially, we ended up with combinations that made us glass cannons.
At the same time, some expert-level tactics like last-hitting is removed because Kim said that the team does not want a match to be partly about stealing from your teammate. But it’s not all dramatic changes just for the sake of being different, according to Kim. “We’re playing on the same team. We don’t want to be competing against each other. [Pre-producing and balancing] the game took a long time. The first time it made an appearance under a different title was three to four years ago. Even the version showed two BlizzCons ago was much different than the one at G-Star.” Kim still stressed that the teamwork part was the toughest to nail down.