Today at gamescom, Blizzard’s Jay Wilson, Game Director for Diablo III, went into great detail about the crafting system for the game during a presentation and question and answer session. You can see the newest trailer for the crafting system above.
One of the biggest changes from the previous Diablo games announced today is the introduction of Artisans. These are basically crafting, enchanting, and socketing NPCs -- think people like Charsi from Act 1 in Diablo II and an NPC that replaces the Horadric Cube.
Wilson went into great detail about exactly what these NPCs would be doing, what the new Salvage Cube does, why Town Portals have been removed, and Ear Necklaces. If you're hard up for Diablo III information (and who isn't?), read more below -- there's a bunch of great new information on what exactly in changing in Diablo III that isn't completely covered in the trailer, as well as some information from the question and answer session that occurred after the presentation.
Artisans are related to the story and not only act as crafting NPCs, but will also act as vendors, follow you around, and can be upgraded and specialized into specific skills. The only Artisan that was shown today was the Blacksmith, who can repair your gear, craft items, and add sockets to existing items. Every Artisan will have unique skills, so you gotta catch ‘em all. They also provide “awesome gossip” for more story insights and humor if players bother to listen to it. Although they only showed the Blacksmith, they did say that the other Artisans would be the Mystic (who can enchant and identify) and the Jeweler (who can add gems and remove gems from items).
Whether you will be able to craft set items wasn’t known at this point in development, although Wilson said they would probably make some craftable set items. The crafting aspect still has to be balanced a lot, because they don't want every player running around with the same epic one-handed sword.
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