Also, no Auction House or always-on DRM
As pretty much everyone knows by now, Diablo III is coming to the PS3 and PS4 -- so naturally, I had to get my hands on it at PAX East. As soon as I tried it on the PS3, I felt immediately comfortable.
All of the limited in-game skills are mapped to pretty much every usable button on the DualShock 3, with an all-new addition -- the right stick functions as a free dodge button -- a mechanic only the Demon Hunter could utilize with certain skills on the PC version. It's a gameplay add-on that works extremely well, and helps make the action more intense.
In addition to trying out the Barbarian and Demon Hunter, I also got the chance to speak with Matthew Berger, Senior Level Designer for Blizzard, on a few other aspects of the game. After asking him how loot distribution is handled for multiple players on the same screen, he responded "you'll have to share! It's freely dropped, if you're playing offline co-op. If you're playing online co-op loot is instanced like the PC version."
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Inquiring about the conversion of the PC version to consoles, I wanted to see if anything was toned down at all -- either in terms of experience rates, or if there are less enemies on the console version. Berger said, "It's basically the same. Same XP gain, same enemies. The only tweak we made is since the screen is a little more zoomed in, we slightly changed enemy wave spawns. Boss battles were also changed, in a fun way to accommodate consoles. We did not need to compromise this version in any way"
As I previously confirmed, there also won't be any Auction House of any kind or always-on DRM on the PS3 version. When I asked him about removing these requirements on PC, he only mentioned that "unlike PCs, since a lot of consoles aren't online yet, it made sense not to require a connection on consoles, for security reasons, since we can't authenticate it with Battle.net."
Lastly, I wanted to confirm how players would be able to get their characters over to a friend's house for local co-op (which is on the same screen, and not split), and if there would be any sort of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time style internal cloud-save support. Berger informed me that Blizzard won't be supplying anything like that, but players are free to upload their save to the PlayStation cloud, or bring over a USB stick with their file on it. There will also be no interaction with the PC version, nor will there be support for character transfers.